Tag Archives: post office scandal

LibLink: Ed Davey on the Post Office scandal

Ed Davey has been writing in The Guardian today under the heading “I fell for Post Office lies – and I’m sorry. But I won’t be silent as Tories prey on victims’ trauma

He writes:

The Post Office Horizon scandal is the greatest miscarriage of justice of our time, and I am deeply sorry for the families who have had their lives ruined by it. As one of the ministers over the 20 years of this scandal, including my time as minister responsible for postal affairs, I’m sorry I did not see through the Post Office’s lies – and that it took me five months to meet Alan Bates, the man who has done so much to uncover it.

The Post Office is owned by the government but not run by it, so the official advice I was given when I first became a minister in May 2010 was not to meet Bates. He wrote again urging me to reconsider, and I did then meet him that October. But he shouldn’t have had to wait. When Bates told me his concerns about Horizon, I took them extremely seriously and put them to the Post Office. What I got back were categorical assurances – the same lies we now know they were telling the subpostmasters, journalists, parliament and the courts.

Since then, the innocence of the subpostmasters has been proven.

He goes on:

So how did we get here? It’s hard not to conclude that this was a conspiracy on a grand scale, and it was only exposed when a brave whistleblower came forward from inside Fujitsu itself in 2015.

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Welcome to my day: 22 January 2024 – so, about those Presidential primaries…

Well, that was unexpected. Ron DeSantis is gone, and has endorsed Donald Trump. And, unless Nikki Haley gets a respectable showing in New Hampshire, it’s surely all over in the absence of any other opponent. Biden versus Trump it is then…

Meanwhile, nearer to home, the Post Office Horizon scandal continues to unfold. For what it’s worth, I do wonder whether or not the various ministers involved were persuaded that there was nothing wrong by the evidently unwise presumption that public officials will tell you the truth when pressed. After all, the Civil Service Code has at its core the values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality and, in my personal experience, most of us live up to that every day – we tend to take a dim view of those that are found to have fallen short. And politicians should be able to take that for granted – they need civil servants to provide them with a picture of what’s going on in their departments and of the impacts of political decisions, both before and after the event, and should be able to rely upon the advice they give, even if they don’t accept it.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Watch Ian Hislop on the Post Office scandal

Private Eye and Computer Weekly were doggedly exposing the Post Office scandal for many years. They reported the scale of the problem with Horizon at a time when individual postmasters were still being lied to and told that they were the only person with the problem.

On Peston last night Ian Hislop clashed with Jake Berry MP over the Government’s inertia in dealing with it.

Earlier in the programme he had expressed his profound anger at the long history of the scandal.

Watch this from about 43 minutes in. (Sorry, ITVX won’t allow me to embed this)

Note that Ed Davey is name-checked in the intro, but with the comment that he was just one of 17 PO ministers over the period. Ian Hislop also rubbishes the way in which Ed has been singled out, and proceeds to hit at the real culprits.

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