MP urges Post Office chief to ‘resign or be sacked’ over executive bonus payments linked to Horizon Inquiry



CWU acting DGSP Andy Furey says members back demand of North Durham MP Kevan Jones amid allegations of wilful misleading of Parliament and the announcement of a Select Committee Public Scrutiny Session…

Mr Jones, who has supported postmasters’ campaign for justice for many years, made the impassioned demand direct to Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Undersecretary of State Kevin Hollinrake in the House of Commons yesterday, saying: “It’s clear that the culture at the Post Office is still rotten to the core. The chief executive should resign or be sacked.” Last night’s Westminster debate followed an announcement by the Chair of the BEIS Select Committee Darren Jones, that this matter is now under discussion and that a Public Scrutiny Session will be held to investigate this fully.

Adding the CWU’s voice to the growing calls for urgent action, Andy Furey said: “Once again, this union and the postmasters we represent are infuriated by the behaviours of those running this vital public service and we fully agree with Kevan Jones that these senior executives must be held fully accountable for what they’ve done. We’re also glad to hear that the BEIS Select Committee plans to investigate this latest outrage.

“Essentially, the people at the very top of the Post Office decided to introduce an executive bonus criterion related to its ‘performance’ in assisting with the Horizon Inquiry and in its Annual Report, it was claimed that these ‘Inquiry performance targets’ had been achieved, that the Inquiry had ‘finished’ and that Sir Wyn Williams – the retired judge leading the Horizon Inquiry – had approved all of this.

“It cannot possibly be acceptable for the Post Office to reward its own executives for their participation in the Horizon Inquiry – they were ordered to do so – or for the Post Office to falsely claim that Horizon Inquiry lead Sir Wyn Williams had somehow approved their claims. And, as a publicly owned organisation, which ultimately is accountable to the Government, surely the Government must now take urgent action.”

Prominent writer Nick Wallis has reported this latest Horizon bonus scandal in detail in an article written last Friday and another on Monday, which set out the full version of events and the extent to which Post Office bosses included these claims in their own Annual Report. “I strongly recommend members read Nick’s two articles,” said Andy, “and it’s come as no surprise that members are already backing the demands being made for full accountability.

“We are appalled by this matter and it appears that there has been astonishing contempt shown for Parliament too – and of course for the UK public. It’s good to hear that Kevan Jones and Darren Jones and his Select Committee colleagues are on the case. Surely there must now be meaningful consequences for those at the top of the Post Office. Horizon was an unprecedented scandal on an immense scale – and now it appears there may well be another scandal in the way this Inquiry has been treated by the Post Office leadership.

“Postmasters deserve better, all Post Office workers deserve better – and the people of the UK deserve better as well. We want the truth and we want urgent action.”