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Paul Patterson and Nick Read


It was a busy morning for MPs on the Enterprise and Commerce Committee, who questioned a number of key witnesses concerning the Submit Workplace scandal.

Listed below are the important thing issues we learnt:

Victims nonetheless struggling

We heard first from Dr Neil Hudgell, a lawyer for sub-postmasters, and champion of their trigger Lord Arbuthnot. 

They painted a grim image – one wherein the overwhelming majority of victims had not obtained their compensation, not had their convictions overturned or just not been engaged with by responsible events. 

We learnt that greater than 200 new authorized inquiries have been raised to Dr Hudgell because the ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Submit Workplace was aired. 

Victims’ voice

Subsequent up got here the well-known Alan Bates and fellow former sub-postmistress Jo Hamilton, who supplied some perception into how the victims of this scandal have been affected. 

Mr Bates mentioned the Submit Workplace had engineered a system wherein it might successfully level a “monetary gun” on the heads of sub-postmasters and mistresses. 

Ms Hamilton mentioned she had been “gaslit” by the Submit Workplace into pondering she had dedicated offences. 

“They satisfied me that it was all my fault and I wasn’t tech savvy in any respect,” she instructed the committee. 

Fujitsu ‘sorry’ 

The pinnacle of Fujitsu’s European operation started his time in entrance of the committee with an apology to these affected. 

“Fujitsu want to apologise for our half on this appalling miscarriage of justice,” Paul Patterson, who was not on the firm on the time of the scandal, mentioned.

“We did have bugs and errors within the system and we did assist the Submit Workplace of their prosecutions of the sub-postmasters and for that we’re actually sorry.”

Bruising questioning for Submit Workplace boss

Nick Learn, head of the Submit Workplace, had a tough afternoon in entrance of the committee. 

Members repeatedly requested him in regards to the timeline of occasions – however he mentioned he was unable to reply most of the questions as a result of he solely joined the enterprise in 2019. 

This earned him the wrath of a number of members, together with the chair.

“You will need to certainly have had time in 4 years to chop to the center of this concern,” Liam Byrne mentioned.

Labour MP Ian Lavery mentioned: “If we’re bringing individuals in entrance of the committee, we’d anticipate them at the very least to have data of the historical past of what is occurred – [especially for] one thing as large as this – and I am completely appalled on the solutions which we have obtained.”

Mr Learn appeared pissed off all through proceedings, usually telling members of the committee he must come again to them with solutions to their questions. 

The chair then mentioned in his closing assertion that Mr Learn’s proof, and that of Mr Patterson, had left the committee “pretty shocked”. 

Submit Workplace minister says Horizon ‘least worst choice’

Kevin Hollinrake mentioned little we’ve not heard, however one takeaway is that the federal government has not set a deadline for compensating all of the victims. 

Mr Hollinrake mentioned he needed to see that course of accomplished by August, however he emphasised: “It isn’t a deadline”, relatively “an ambition we wish to ship this scheme by”. 

He additionally described the Horizon system, which continues to be in place, as “the least worst choice” for the Submit Workplace’s wants, including that the federal government was serving to to fund the transfer away from that system regardless of the mooted £270m price. 

By RemmyTex

Remmytex is a blogger, promoter, entrepreneur and and a businessman. Call or send a Whatsapp message for more information on +2349075664854 or you can email remmytexblog1@gmail.com

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