Post Office Horizon Inquiry WILL be statutoryPostal, Post Office (PO) May 20 2021
Government responds to growing pressure and beefs up investigation into scandalous miscarriage of justice…
Postmasters and their union the CWU have welcomed the statement by Paul Scully, the Government Minister with responsibility for the Post Office, confirming that those behind the wrongful prosecutions of hundreds of innocent postmasters will face the full force of the law.
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Scully began by referring to the Government’s original position which established the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry as a non-statutory inquiry.
And then he told the nation that, “in accordance with the terms of s.15 Inquiries Act, the Government has now given notice to convert the Inquiry into a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 on 1st June 2021 and at the same time amend the Inquiry’s terms of reference.”
Retired Judge Sir Wyn Williams remains at the head of the investigation, with a strengthened Inquiry team assisting him, and the process is scheduled to conclude in the autumn of next year, with Sir Wyn being asked to make any recommendations he sees fit, including actions that may, in his view, be appropriate as a result of his findings.
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU News that “this is great news and is exactly what this union, our postmaster members and growing numbers of MPs have been calling for – it means that witnesses can be legally compelled to appear before Sir Wyn and cannot now be subjected to pressures or threatened with the loss of their jobs for telling the truth.
“It’s also great news that Sir Wyn remains in charge of this process, with a strengthened remit and clearer terms of reference.”
Sir Wyn has written to Andy, setting out his revised timetable in light of this development and he has also put out a detailed statement explaining this further.
Marion Fellows MP (Motherwell & Wishaw) has also hailed yesterday’s Ministerial Statement as “a huge step forward in the fight for justice.”
Ms Fellows, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Post Office, added: “Making this Inquiry statutory was so important – it means we will now have more confidence that those responsible will be held accountable.
For further details, please see LTB 208/21