And still Paula Vennells fails to answer the question - how did she fail so badly? What did she know?

Here are a series of posts I have written about her role in the scandal to date.

The ballad of Paula Vennells - before the first High Court verdict:…
Vennells leaves the Post Office in the middle of the High Court action.

May 2019 - "And with that - she was gone":…
The Panorama episode where Ms Vennells refused to answer any questions on her role in the scandal:…
A fisking of Vennells written answers to the BEIS Select Committee inquiry:

“Paula Vennells breaks her silence”…
(incidentally here is a fisking of current PO CEO Nick Read’s response to the BEIS Select Committee:

“Nick Read’s selective awareness” -…)
(and here is a fisking of Fujitsu’s response to the same inquiry:

“Fujitsu tries to dodge the blame bus” -…)
Here is my take on Paula Vennells role in the executive cover-up which took place in 2013:

"The Post Office cover up, part 1: How and when it happened” -…
And here is my rogue’s gallery of the other PO execs involved in the 2013 cover-up - including the interim General Counsel Chris Aujard, who was seemingly parachuted in to do a special job:…
Ms Vennells has consistently dodged all media requests for interviews throughout her tenure as PO CEO - despite trousering £5m of taxpayers money for running a publicly-owned company. And she is still refusing to talk to journalists, telling them it would be “inappropriate”...
… to be held to account when she’s preparing to give evidence to a government inquiry. My view is that if you run a big company you should make yourself accountable and available when things go badly wrong. Especially when that company is publicly owned. Ms Vennells...
… clearly takes a different view and her paymasters at the government let her do so.

One leaving the Post Office, Ms Vennells got a CBE and slid into the warm embrace of the establishment, taking up a Cabinet Office post and chairmanship of a large NHS Trust….
… The Bishop of St Albans washed his hands of doing anything about her and as recently as December, the Chairman of Morrisons wrote to one of the now unconvicted Postmasters saying that he had “learnt through my career to take people as I find them” and that Paula Vennells...
… “brought a strong moral compass to the table”.

I take people as I find them, but I also ask them questions and do my research.

It is the constant willingness of the establishment to close ranks WITHOUT asking questions of the people around them...
… or just accepting their answers at face value which leads to problems being ignored, prolonging the agony for the victims.
Even the government belatedly realised Vennells was toxic. Here is a letter from the BEIS minister last year asking why she was still chair of a large NHS Trust:…
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More from @nickwallis

23 Apr
We are at the Royal Courts of Justice to find out whether 42 Subpostmasters prosecuted by the Post Office will have their criminal convictions quashed. Thread follows...
After a Court Of Appeal hearing in March, three judges will hand down their ruling. 39 appellants are not being opposed by the Post Office.

There were lots of Subpostmasters (and cameras) outside court this morning. It is a glorious day, but...
... it's hard for the appellants to sum up their mood. Many told me they havent slept. Some have been crying yet because many are seeing each other for the first time in a while there are smiles.
Read 103 tweets
25 Mar
Good morning and welcome to Day of R v Hamilton and others at the Court of Appeal. Today we will hear argument for and against the three appellants referred by the CCRC to the court. The Post Office is opposing their appeals. Live-tweet thread to follow.
Yesterday’s court report and all three previous days transcripts can be found here:
All my work this week is crowdfunded. If you find any of the stuff of the website useful there is an option to contribute here:…
… rewards include a forthcoming book on the scandal and access to the “secret” email - sent on an irregular basis when there are interesting things happening as the story moves through the courts, inquiry and parliament.
Read 188 tweets
25 Mar
NEW: Johnny Depp has FAILED in his application to appeal the libel judgment which found The Sun newspaper’s allegation he engaged in domestic violence against Amber Heard was “substantially true”.
Mr Depp will not be able to take his legal case further on this issue and the High Court judgment of Mr Justice Nicol stands.
Today’s ruling will be posted shortly (if it’s not already) on the judiciary website here:
Read 10 tweets
25 Mar
Just remembered after several hours slaving over it I forgot to tweet my report from the court of appeal yesterday.…

If a tree falls…

I am on my way to court 71 of the Royal Courts of Justice to hopefully pick up the Depp v NGN ruling on Mr Depp’s application to appeal the High Court libel judgment against him. Then it will be a question of legging it to court 4 for the resumption of the CoA Subpostmasters...
… hearing.

If Johnny Depp’s application fails, that is the end of the legal road for him in this country on whether or not The Sun’s article, which called him a “wife-beater” is substantially true.
Read 6 tweets
24 Mar
Still meditating on this quote from the CEO of the Post Office today:

"Our understanding and interpretation of the business model needs to be turned on its head.”

This is because the Post Office always saw the government as its client - not its Subpostmasters.
The government gives the PO money and the PO oversees AND POLICES its distribution.

Subpostmasters were its risk.
But the government wanted profitability from the Post Office. So the Post Office sweated its only asset - its Subpostmasters - thinking of them more as slaves to be controlled rather than potential revenue drivers for the business.
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar
Post Office annual report and accounts just dropped - this is the delayed 2019/2020 accounts which is when the Post Office were throwing the kitchen sink at the High Court litigation - the numbers and comments should be interesting:…
"we recorded a statutory loss of £307 million, largely because of the cost of settling the Postmaster litigation in December 2019 and the related legal costs; £153 million we have allocated towards the Historical Shortfall Scheme settlements...
… Chief Executive Officer Nick Read said: “Maximising the potential of Postmasters should be the priority and we should behave accordingly. Sadly, this has not always been the case...
Read 25 tweets

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