Campaigning SNP MP Marion Fellows has renewed calls on the UK government to launch an independent inquiry into its mismanagement of the Post Office Limited network and the Horizon system scandal.Ahead of a Westminster Hall debate today, the SNP MP also urged the UK government to ensure that costs of the Horizon case did not hit those who work in local post offices financially.
Last month, the SNP’s Shadow BEIS spokesperson wrote to the UK government’s BEIS Secretary Alok Sharma calling for an inquiry, and greater oversight into Post Office Limited to prevent a repeat of past mistakes.
The Horizon scandal saw the Post Office Limited pay £58m in an out of court settlement over a faulty accounting system that led to fines, sackings, prosecutions, bankruptcies and jail sentences over the last decade.
Commenting ahead of the debate, SNP MP Marion Fellows said:
“The UK government’s mismanagement of the Post Office network, and its handling of the Horizon scandal, has raised serious concerns. It must now launch an independent inquiry into the Post Office network to protect vital local services and to prevent a repeat of past mistakes.
“The Horizon scandal has spanned decades and it has hit countless postmasters who have been plunged into hardship and faced financial difficulties and imprisonment. The government must right this grievous wrong.
“Boris Johnson seemingly promised an independent inquiry into Post Office Ltd’s handling of the Horizon scandal and is now backtracking on these workers who have been so grievously wronged.
“The Post Office network is vital for local communities, small businesses and rural regions – however services are closing at an alarming rate, with recent figures revealing that Scotland has suffered a net loss of 45 post offices since 2011.
“SNP MPs will continue to challenge the Tory government to live up to its role and responsibilities as the special shareholder of Post Office Ltd, and to protect our public services.
“The UK government can no longer sit on its hands – it must launch an independent investigation and ensure such miscarriages of justice can never happen again.”