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Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells to return CBE over Horizon scandal

09 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells – Image: Anthony Devlin

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells is to hand back her CBE following the fallout of the Horizon IT scandal which led to the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of subpostmasters.

The former chief executive, who ran the Post Office while it routinely denied there was a problem with its Horizon IT system, was appointed a CBE in December 2018.

Miscarriage of justice

It comes after demands for her to return the honour intensified after an ITV drama brought the widespread miscarriage of justice back into the spotlight.

More than 1.2 million people have signed a petition calling for her to be stripped of the honour.

More than 700 Post Office branch managers were convicted after faulty Fujitsu accounting software Horizon made it look like money was missing from their shops.

A public inquiry into the scandal is ongoing.

Evidence

In a statement, Ms Vennells said: “I continue to support and focus on co-operating with the Inquiry and expect to be giving evidence in the coming months.

“I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the Inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence.

“I am, however, aware of the calls from subpostmasters and others to return my CBE.

“I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.

“I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.

“I now intend to continue to focus on assisting the Inquiry and will not make any further public comment until it has concluded.”

Ms Vennells was chief executive of the company from 2012 to 2019.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he wanted to speed up the compensation process for victims of the scandal.

It is understood Justice Secretary Alex Chalk met Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake on Monday to discuss how to help the convicted branch managers clear their names.


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An Observer
An Observer
1 month ago

And the £5 million she received as a leaving bonus?

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

Should lose her pension, and Fujitsu should be banned from future government contracts.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
1 month ago

Hopefully her role in this travesty of justice will also be investigated by the police

onedragonontheshirt
onedragonontheshirt
1 month ago

Good. Now she needs to lose her pension and go to jail.

Paul Hoskins
Paul Hoskins
1 month ago

How does such a failure of a CEO, and a dishonest one at that, get rewarded with anything other than the sack!

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Hoskins

In the backward country known as the Untied Kingdom, promotion is the usual reward for failure for those who went to the ‘right’ (i.e. fee-paying) schools, as Ms Vennells did

Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Woods

I am not defending her but she was not a fee paying pupil she was a scolarship girl.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Right, gong handed back. Now for all the new fujitsu contracts the government has been signing up.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Great to see and hear Tory politicians say that this should be sorted, and so it should, how about they now step up and call for people like Michelle Mone and all the other beneficiaries of the ” covid” billions to give it all back and apologise. Or, as has been pointed out, she was a scholarship girl and expendable, not one of them.

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