Post Office bosses with serious questions to answer

The Post Office bosses with serious questions to answer: Ex-chiefs gained wealth, honours and directorships as almost 150 postmasters were wrongly prosecuted

  • Part-time priest Paula Vennells, 62, stands accused of covering up the scandal and forcing postmasters into High Court battle
  • After she became chief executive in 2012 there was a ‘pervasive failure’ to investigate complaints about Horizon IT system, Court of Appeal said yesterday
  • On leaving, she received a CBE for ‘services to… the Post Office’ and now holds roles advising boards of Morrisons and Dunelm
  • Alice Perkins earned £100,000 a year as chairman from 2011 to 2015

Hundreds of blameless former postmasters and postmistresses were pillars of their village communities until they were preposterously branded crooks and had their lives torn apart.

Each was peddled the same cruel lie by Post Office investigators – that they were the only one having trouble with the new computer accounting system Horizon.

In truth, it was riddled with bugs that caused baffling shortfalls in post office branch accounts across the land…

As the Post Office scandal unfolded, some bosses accumulated wealth, honours and directorships.

Part-time priest Paula Vennells, 62, stands accused of covering up the scandal and forcing postmasters into a High Court battle.

After she became chief executive in 2012 there was a ‘pervasive failure’ to investigate complaints about the Horizon IT system, the Court of Appeal said yesterday.

Part-time priest Paula Vennells, 62, stands accused of covering up the scandal and forcing postmasters into a High Court battle. After she became chief executive in 2012 there was a ‘pervasive failure’ to investigate complaints about the Horizon IT system, the Court of Appeal said yesterday. On leaving, she received a CBE for ‘services to… the Post Office’ and now holds roles advising the boards of Morrisons and Dunelm

Alice Perkins earned £100,000 a year as chairman from 2011 to 2015. The wife of Labour grandee Jack Straw was in charge when alarm bells started ringing and was in a position to demand the scandal be dealt with properly

On leaving, she received a CBE for ‘services to… the Post Office’ and now holds roles advising the boards of Morrisons and Dunelm. 

Yesterday she said she was ‘truly sorry’.

Alice Perkins earned £100,000 a year as chairman from 2011 to 2015.

The wife of Labour grandee Jack Straw was in charge when alarm bells started ringing and was in a position to demand the scandal be dealt with properly. 

Yesterday she apologised for the ‘deep distress’.

Almost 150 postmasters were prosecuted between 2010 and 2012 – when Dame Moya Greene was chief executive of parent company Royal Mail.

Almost 150 postmasters were prosecuted between 2010 and 2012 – when Dame Moya Greene was chief executive of parent company Royal Mail. In 2011, an audit found IT weaknesses could ‘lead to… erroneous transactions’. Dame Moya was Sunday Times Business Person of the Year in 2014

In 2011, an audit found IT weaknesses could ‘lead to… erroneous transactions’.

Dame Moya was Sunday Times Business Person of the Year in 2014. She has previously declined to comment.

Chairman Tim Parker, 65 – nicknamed the Prince of Darkness in City circles – supported Paula Vennells when she took on 557 former staff in civil courts. 

He is now trying to rebuild relations with postmasters. 

Mr Parker, worth at least £200million, said the firm was ‘extremely sorry’.

IT provider Fujitsu is said to have known there could be glitches as early as 1999.

Police are investigating whether former Fujitsu IT experts Anne Chambers and Dr Gareth Jenkins misled trials, which could lead to charges of perjury.

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