Petition update

100 MP's Sign Letter to Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng

Christopher Head
West Boldon, ENG, United Kingdom

Jan 8, 2022 — 

On Thursday 6th January a letter signed by over a hundred MP's was delivered to the Secretary of State for Business Kwasi Kwarteng MP demanding full and fair compensation for the excluded 555 group.  I had drafted the letter myself and intended to encourage MP's across the house to sign it and then forward to the relevant department.  However after discussions with my MP Kate Osborne it was agreed the letter would be transferred to Parliamentary headed paper and led by her which would hopefully lead to many more MP's coming forward to add their name to the letter.  As I have said many times before it simply cannot be right that those that exposed this scandal and opened the door to thousands of others who waited on the litigation outcome to be denied full compensation for their losses.  The Daily Mail covered the letter with a full page article on Friday which you can read here :-

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10373475/MPs-demand-payouts-555-forgotten-victims-Post-Office-scandal.html?cmid=c8f9f87b-fe52-4611-a84a-5e7e60e471ff

I will include a full copy of the letter below so you can read it :-

Dear Secretary of State,


We are writing to you today with concerns around the Post Office Horizon Scandal compensation scheme and that it exclusively excludes the 555 litigants, from the civil proceedings brought against Post Office Ltd back in 2018/19, from claiming.

Through their efforts and determination, the 555 litigants, who won their civil proceedings, have opened the door to around 2500 applications into the Post Office Historical Shortfall Scheme which is set to cost the taxpayer in excess of £300 million. Their fight for justice has also helped 72 victims to date have their convictions quashed with another 650+ remaining under review. Without the efforts of this group, none of the above would ever have been achieved and Post Office Ltd would still be following the narrative that the Horizon System is robust.

It therefore cannot be right that those who decided not to join the original litigation now have access to full and fair compensation whilst the group of 555 litigants have only recovered a tiny fraction of their losses.

It has also come to light that external reports were available as early as 2011 by Ernst & Young regarding the robustness of Horizon and again in 2015 the now infamous Clarke Advice that showed evidence given at criminal trials was incorrect and is subject to investigation by the Met Police. Had these documents and others been made available during the civil litigation, the group of litigants could have secured further funding to continue with the case rather than forced into settlement due to lack of funds.

The exclusion of these litigants from the compensation scheme is having and will continue to have a direct and devastating impact on these individuals and their families, especially as they exposed the scandal against all odds and have been left with the legal bill for doing so.

All those affected by this scandal, including consideration given to the 555 litigants, have suffered deep distress and trauma, and have faced stigma throughout the last few years. They must receive compensation that is commensurate with the suffering they have faced.

Failure to do this with speed will inevitably lead to further bankruptcies, loss of homes, potential further suicides, and death of those already at an advanced age before they are able to obtain justice and redress for their ordeal.  The cost of bankruptcy has a cost to the taxpayer, and this also may prevent these people from working and paying taxes. The mental health impact on these individuals and their families cannot be taken lightly and lack of action only exasperates this problem. We have already seen 2 suicides as a direct result of this scandal, and we cannot afford anymore.

We urge you to address this problem and recognise that it is wholly unfair and immoral to exclude this group of people from full and fair compensation for their suffering. The government must put in place an external compensation scheme that is outside the scope of the Post Office and provide this group with the redress they not only deserve but are entitled to.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Osborne MP and all those undersigned

Since the letter has been sent I agreed with Kate that she would table an EDM (Early Day Motion) which can be signed by all MP's from any party to place further pressure on the government to act.  EDM's cannot force the government to do anything nor does it mean this will be debated in the house, however the more MP's that sign the government will realise patience is running out.  So I would ask everyone reading this blog to PLEASE reach out to your local MP and ask them to add their signature to the EDM, it will only take them a few minutes to do so.  There are only 3 signatures so far but it only went live on Friday and I know others have signed but do not yet show.  Very few EDM's gain more than 100 signatures but this is one that definitely should.  It is EDM822 and you can include the direct link for them from below :-

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/59315

On Tuesday 11th January the next session of the Commons BEIS Select Committee headed by Darren Jones MP will question Post Office CEO Nick Read, Paul Scully MP, Tom Cooper and Carl Creswell.  The latter two are the mandarins from the civil service who behind the scenes are responsible for managing the Post Office on behalf of the government via UKGI.  I am almost certain they will continue to spout the same nonsense they have for years that the government allows Post Office Ltd to run as an 'Arms Length Body'.  We all know this is a complete lie but I cannot see them changing tack now at this stage.  Have a read of Nick Wallis latest blog post on his site and also one going back to June 2020 which talks about Paula Vennell's submission to the inquiry which itself exposes the 'Arms Length Body' lie on its own.

https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/post-office-ceo-in-the-hot-seat

https://www.postofficetrial.com/2020/07/the-post-office-cover-up-part-2-they.html

If you would like to watch the debate in Parliament you can do so live here, select the option for the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Room 6 or follow the direct link below.  It starts at 9:45am and the second hearing at 10:30am :-

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/b9c75839-c7a4-4348-abd8-5637169f053c

I will keep you up to date once we get a response to the letter sent, not that we are expecting miracles!

 

 


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