UK GOV MUST “SET DATE IN STONE” FOR POST OFFICE HORIZON SCANDAL REVIEW

10th September 2020

SNP MP Marion Fellows has today called on the UK Government to “set a date in stone” for the review into the Post Office Horizon scandal after the Post Office Ltd CEO told sub-Postmasters that the review may be delayed.

In a written answer to Mrs Fellows on 14 July, Minister Paul Scully MP confirmed that the Chair of the review would be appointed so that they can start the inquiry by September at the latest.

However, in a recent message to sub-Postmasters, Post Office CEO Nick Read said that “the chair of the inquiry will be announced later in the autumn”.

Flaws in the Post Office’s IT system saw sub-Postmasters blamed for accounting errors which led to bankruptcies, jail sentences, and suicide.

On 26 February at PMQs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to a public inquiry but later u-turned. He instead announced a review which will not be judge-led as called for by the SNP.

Commenting, SNP MP Marion Fellows, Chair of the Post Office All Party Parliamentary Group, said:

“Sub-Postmasters have been fighting long and hard for justice and for the public review into Horizon software. The UK Government cannot delay justice any longer. They must set a date in stone for the Chair to be appointed and the review to begin.

“This is yet more disappointment for sub-Postmasters. The Prime Minister u-turned on his commitment for a public inquiry opting instead for a review. Yet even these watered-down plans may be stalling.

“This has wrecked lives and damaged livelihoods for decades. Ministers cannot carry on waiting and hoping it becomes old news.”

“Sub-Postmasters have been providing essential, frontline services in communities in Scotland and across the UK prior to and during the Covid pandemic. But they are being treated with contempt.

“The Post Office network has reached crisis point due to a multitude of issues. If the UK Government is serious about supporting sub-Postmasters, the Post Office network, and the communities they serve, then they must take the Post Office crisis seriously.”