A quick thread on what seems like a busy parliamentary date in the Post Office Horizon IT scandal.

This morning, Paul Scully, the Postal Affairs Minister announced that the govt would provide compensation for those whose convictions have been quashed.

No one knows…
… because he did not say, how much has been provided. Is it £1m per each person whose conviction has already been quashed - ie £72m?

I know for a fact that many of those whose convictions have been quashed are seeking well over £1m in compensation...
… and it is almost a racing certainty that more convictions will be quashed (remember 738 people are thought to have been convicted using Horizon evidence between 2000 and 2015)…

It therefore becomes important to know what provision has been made. Is it £1m each for 700...
… people? Or is it a bottomless pot of money which will only become exhausted when those whose convictions have been quashed have been given the “correct” reparations? I suspect there is a limit, as the Treasury doesn’t usually sign blank cheques. It’s important, therefore...
… to find out what that limit is.

Also - it’s worth noting that this funding is being made available to the Post Office so it can start the “negotiations” over compensation with those who have had their convictions quashed. The Post Office’s previous negotiating positions...
… have been that it owes Subpostmasters nothing. It will be seeking to give them the minimum possible and it will do this by offering smaller amounts that the Postmasters should rightfully get, knowing it can wear them down by simply dragging things out as long as possible...
… by way of example, the Post Office still has not paid interim compensation to all the Subpostmasters whose convictions have been quashed - raising objections, queries and refusals wherever and whenever it can.

Bear in mind that the first convictions were quashed more...
… than a year ago. It is only today that the PROVISION of money has been made. Nothing like full and fair compensation has been given to ANYONE with a substantial claim, which brings me to those victims who weren’t convicted. They fall into three main groups...
1) Those who were part of the 555 civil claimants who blew the lid of the Post Office’s false prosecution policies, unlawful contract and cover-up of the truth. These 555 received £57.75m in a High Court settlement, of which £46m was taken in legal and success fees. The average..
… compensation for the 555 worked out around £21k each. Many lost 2x, 5x, 10x that amount. They were recently told their compensation was full and final. Founders of the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance, Alan Bates and Jo Hamilton are speaking to the @CommonsBEIS now here...
@CommonsBEIS parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/0c…


2) Those who were not part of the 555, but who joined the Post Office Historical Shortfall Scheme last year. This scheme was set up as a condition of the High Court Settlement. It was open to those who hadn’t joined the group litigation...
… and allowed any Subpostmasters, Post Office Manager or Worker to put in a claim for any losses they had incurred by being forced to cover discrepancies in their accounts or stock trays registered on the Horizon IT system. The Post Office, displaying their ignorance...
… of the scale and depth of suffering caused by their actions toward their own staff, put aside £35m for claims to the HSS. More than £311m came in. At this point the Post Office ceased to be viable as a going concern and went cap in hand to government to underwrite...
… the scheme. As a result of this cack-handed approach, many of the larger claims have not been settled. There is a debate in parliament about this starting at 11am led by Alistair Carmichael. You can watch it here: parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/d0…

3) This final group consists...
… of the many Subpostmasters, managers and workers outside of all the schemes who are only just hearing about all these, and whose claims will be made, initially by themselves, either to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the Court of Appeal, the civil courts or direct...
… to the Post Office, through their lawyers. We don’t know how many thousands there are out there who may have a case. The Historical Shortfall Scheme was open for a matter of weeks, during a period of the pandemic when some people were fixated on keeping themselves...
… and their relatives alive, and whilst the Post Office does appear to accept some cases onto the HSS even now, it is certainly not advertising it anywhere.

Until we get some flesh on the bones re how much the govt provision announced today actually is, and how many...
… claims are going through the HSS and to what value, we will have no idea how much this scandal will cost, but if you take some rough, back of a fag packet calculations… let’s say an average of £3m compensation for each of the say, 100 people who will have had their...
… convictions quashed by this time next year (72 so far, remember) - that’s £300m, plus £300m for those applicants to the HSS. Then there’s the 555’s fight for proper compensation which the Justice for Subpostmasters’ Alliance has put at £300m added to the taxpayers'...
… cash the Post Office and government threw at the High Court trying to deny justice to the Subpostmasters (around £50m plus the £57.75m settlement) and you are topping out at a cool £1bn. That, of course, doesn’t include the cost of the Statutory Inquiry, and the ongoing...
… police investigation which started in Jan 2020, has so far gone nowhere, but has now got at least six staff/officers working on it full time.

And so far, not a single person has been held to account over it.

That is why this is a big deal!

If this is all new to you...
… please consider buying my book (link in bio) which will at least get you up to speed with the first 20 years of this scandal!



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More from @nickwallis

14 Dec
Chair of @CommonsBEIS blasts minister over this morning’s written statement into Post Office scandal compensation scheme for those with quashed convictions:

“To publish a written ministerial statement two hours before a session like this… leaking it to the press...
@CommonsBEIS … the day before, not providing sufficient detail or giving a statement to the house is quite frankly wholly unacceptable…
Jo Hamilton: It’s terrible.
Darren Jones: … it’s terrible I agree. And so we will be calling ministers in the Post Office to ask many of the questions...
@CommonsBEIS … that we’ve talked about today and to try to provide as many answers as possible.”

That was @DarrenpJones MP talking at the end of a @CommonsBEIS oral evidence hearing.

Separate to that I’ve been told an Urgent Question has been requested for tomorrow - which...
Read 7 tweets
22 Nov
Welcome to court 4 of the Royal Courts of Justice where we are expecting seven appellants to have their convictions quashed. There follows a live-tweet thread of what is happening in court... Save our Subpostmasters banner being held up outside the RCJ
The two people holding the banner in the last tweet are Eleanor Shaikh, a customer who became so outraged by the Post Office’s treatment of her Subpostmaster Chirag Sidphura that she became a campaigner. Read Chirag’s story here:


Just out of shot on the right is Pete Murray whose story is extraordinary. The Post Office tried to ruin him and very nearly succeeded. His story can be read here.

Read 80 tweets
18 Nov
Good morning from Southwark Crown Court. The building opened at 8am and courts are sitting earlier than usual to get through a backlog of cases. We are expecting six Subpostmaster appeals to be heard at 0930 today. Live tweet thread follows...

The Subpostmasters involved are:

• Mohammed Aslam, who  pleaded guilty to false accounting at Newport Magistrates’ Court on 23rd January 2007 and was sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work and a £300 fine...
• Amanda Barber, who pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on 6th June 2012 and was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work...
Read 31 tweets
8 Nov
Good morning from the first Post Office Horizon IT inquiry open hearing. It is being held at Juxon House in London in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral. Proceedings start at 11am.
Already, Howe and Co, who are representing 151 Subpostmasters have made a submission to change the name of the inquiry to the Post Office Inquiry, to ensure the inquiry looks at all aspects of the PO and govt’s behaviour - not just the IT system.
I am sitting next to my colleague from Panorama (Tim) to my left and the NFSP to my right. We are separated by clear perspex screens. On Tim’s left is Tom Witherow from the Daily Mail.
Read 81 tweets
19 Jul
Made it! Did get time to take a photo outside court, so here is the RCJ in all its glory in November 2020.

Live-tweeting from Court 4 begins. We are underway.
Please note that all tweets just paraphrase and describe what is being said, they are NOT verbatim. Only words in “direct quotes” are direct quotes.

There are now only 30 appeals being considered as the one has fallen away.
The Post Office is now not opposing 12 appeals. It is opposing 14. Four appeals were DWP prosecutions. As the DWP prosecution function has been folded into the CPS, the CPS is dealing with those appeals and OPPOSING them.
Read 57 tweets
19 Jul
I am off to the court of appeal today to report on the possible overturning of ten more Post Office convictions. I am able to do so because of the crowdfunding I have received in the past. If you feel able to support my journalism, please consider…

… putting a few quid in the crowdfunding tip jar (details in the next tweet) and/or buying my forthcoming book. I keep my reporting free at the point of consumption thanks to the generosity of my backers…

… ALL new supporters will be added to the "secret" email newsletter, which will keep you up to date on the scandal. More here:


The live tweeting starts at 10.30am!

And the...
Read 4 tweets

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