CWU warmly welcomes ‘golden-triple-lock’ promise to fully compensate all 555 postmasters who led Horizon fight

Postal, Post Office (PO)

Prime Minister joins Chancellor and Post Office Minister in promising that the Government will set aside sufficient public money to fully compensate all those who started the first legal challenges…

In public statements widely reported through the course of yesterday, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Paul Scully each praised the postmasters, slammed the failures of the Post Office leadership, and set out the Government’s intentions.

Prime Minister Johnson said: “Whilst it cannot take away the years of distress, the postmasters who have suffered terribly over the Post Office Horizon scandal deserve to be fairly compensated. That’s why we’ll be introducing a new compensation scheme for those who led and won the landmark legal case over the failings, so they can receive their fair share.”

Chancellor Sunak added: “The Horizon IT dispute has had a devastating impact on postmasters and their families, with many losing their livelihoods or being wrongly convicted for crimes they didn’t commit. Without the efforts of these postmasters, this terrible injustice may have never been uncovered so it is only right that they are compensated fully and fairly. That is why we have set up this new compensation scheme for those who played a crucial role bringing this scandal to light, which I hope provides a measure of comfort.

And in his remarks, Postal Affairs Minister Scully made the point that “the pain and distress that the Horizon scandal has inflicted on hundreds of postmasters over the years cannot be overstated. Without the efforts of the 555 pioneering postmasters who brought this to court, this injustice may never have seen the light of day nor would the statutory inquiry have been set up, which is why I made it my priority to ensure they are all fairly compensated.

“While we can’t right the wrongs of the past, I hope this important compensation package is a turning of the page, as we continue working with the Post Office to ensure something like this can never happen again,” he continued.

“The scheme comes after the government announced a separate scheme last year to provide funding for full and final settlements for eligible postmasters who have had their Horizon-related conviction overturned, with those eligible to receive an interim payment of up to £100,000 each.”

Reacting to the statements, CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU News that this was “an enormous step forward.

“This group of 555 postmasters were the bravest of the brave. They were the ones who began the campaign against this outrage over a decade ago. They were the ones who stood up to the lies, to the false accusations and the disgraceful persecutions. These 555 postmasters are heroes and heroines all and they blazed the trail of justice for so many others to follow.

“I’m very proud that this union, the CWU, has morally and vocally supported these postmasters, who came together under the banner of the Justice For SubPostmasters Alliance,” Andy continued.

“Whilst this is a massive victory, we still need to keep the pressure up until it is finally delivered of course – but I think there could not be more explicit public promises from the very top of our Government.

“This is a triple-golden-lock promise and is richly deserved.”

“Now the next step is to ensure full accountability for those senior Post Office directors whose actions led to the persecution of hundreds of postmasters. The CWU is clear, those who committed this travesty of justice against so many innocent people should be held to account, including criminal prosecutions if a conspiracy can be proved.”