Nick Wallis Profile picture
Feb 25 119 tweets 23 min read
Welcome to day 10 of the public impact hearings of the Statutory Inquiry into the Post Office Horizon scandal. Today we will hear from Seema Misra, Janet Skinner and Tracy Felstead. All three women went to prison. All three had their convictions quashed at the Court of Appeal...
on 23 April 2021. They and their legal team had fought hard to argue the case that their convictions weren’t just unsafe, but an affront to the conscience of the court. That means it should never have been brought. The Post Office used all the legal firepower at its disposal...
… to try to stop this. It is certainly possible that were it not for Janet, Seema and Tracy, the Clarke Advice (which proved the Post Office knew it was responsible for unsafe prosecutions in 2013) may not have been made public. It is a racing certainty that had their...
… convictions not been ruled an affront to the conscience of the court, the inquiry into this scandal would not have been put on a Statutory footing.
They - and their legal teams - are therefore significant people in this scandal. They are all here today.

Jason Beer QC has just called Tracy Felstead to the witness seat. She is being sworn in. The inquiry chair Sir Wyn Williams is dialled in on a big screen.
Miss Tracy Ann Margaret Felstead is 39, she tells JB she has 3 boys, one nearly 18, one 15, one 11.

She is now agreeing her written statement is correct.
JB what did you do before you joined the post office [at age 17]

TF I went to school

JB what age did you leave school?

TF I left school at 16

JB which PO did you get a job at?

TF Camberwell green

JB what kind of PO?

TF a crown branch… it was my first job
[this is NOT verbatim reporting - just paraphrasing the direction of the conversation - only words in “direct quotes” are direct quotes]

JB did you get any training
TF yes - back office first of all - just dockets and stuff, then I had a few days training to actually go on...
… the counter

JB Did that include training in the use of the Horizon [H] system?
TF yes it was only a few days - it wasn’t in depth. Everyone seemed nice - everybody above me was sort of babying me, just, you know, looking after me, taking me under their wing.
JB "in the accounts that we see you’ve given to Mr Wallis that we see in his book - it is said one day you found yourself with a small deficit that your manager was not in the least bit concerned with”
TF “No - there was never any… concern by anybody. You were made to feel that
… it was all okay, it would rectify itself.”
JB “After that first shortfall were there any more immediately or did things go back to normal?”
TF”I can’t remember exactly how long it was but… there was a time when there were other shortfalls whether it would show up...
… in the stamps… car tax… things like that.”

JB there came a time when there was a much larger discrepancy
TF Yes
JB “So £11,500-odd?”
TF Yes

[Tracy goes on to explain her questioning by PO investigators]
TF “I’d been pulled to sone side by the manager and said that somebody was coming to interview me today about the discrepancy which was absolutely fine. I had two guys come in and question me. They asked at the time whether I needed legal representation. I declined...
… I had nothing to hide. And it kind of escalated from there…. I was being asked constantly what have I done with the money - where has the money gone. I was being accused from day dot”

[Tracy was suspended and then one day the PO investigators came to her...
… mother in law’s house with two police officers and took her to a police station. This time Tracy got legal representation.]

JB "What was the interview like?”
TF “It was horrendous… I felt bullied… I was a young girl. I was in a police station. I couldn’t justify where...
… this money had gone because I didn’t know where the money had gone. I couldn’t explain anything and I was constantly being asked… what did you spend the money on? And it just kept going then in the end my solicitor said ‘just say no comment because they’re not asking...
… questions’ they’re just interrogating me.”
JB “When the Court of Appeal came to look at the matter all those years later in April 2021 in its judgment the CoA records that your record of interview says that you were asked questions including ‘Can you demonstrate how you...
… did not steal the money?’”
TF “Yes”
JB “Do you remember these kinds of questions?”
TF “Yes”
JB “And you were asked whether you could satisfy the officers that you didn’t have responsibility for the £11,000 that was said to be missing?”
TF “Yes"
JB “And so you were asked to prove how you had not committed a crime?”
TF “Yes”

[Tracy explains how she was charged with false accounting and theft.]

JB “Did something happen when you were charged with those concerning your health?”...
TF “I tried to kill myself."
JB “Was that because you’d been charged with a criminal offence you hadn’t committed?”
TF “Yes, it was. I couldn’t defend myself. I couldn’t explain what had happened.”
JB “How many times did you try?”
TF “Twice”
[Tracy was committed to a secure psychiatric facility at the Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley - she responded well to treatment, but when she got out the PO were still determined to nail her. She went to court and was convicted by a majority verdict at trial]
TF “At the trial I tred to defend myself as much as I possibly could. It was very much from Day 1 that the Post Office were adamant that I’d taken the money and there was no… you weren’t given an opportunity to explain or try and explain how something could have gone wrong...
… you just had no idea. I remember actually since our convictions were overturned last year a forensic accountant actually got in touch who was hired at my trial to come to give a forensic account of my case at the court. He was never called but he came forward last year...
… to say thaht actually… he had some disquiet about my case at that time. He sat in a room with Fujitsu and the Post Office and had asked for certain documentation to be provided. He was then told it would cost £20,000.”
JB “It would cost who £20,000?”
TF “It would...
… cost us, me, my legal team £20,000 to get that documentation. We would have to pay the Post Office and Fujitsu to get that documentation and that wasn’t possible. That only came to light… that was only brought to my attention last year when Mr Turner came forward...
JB “What was his full name?”
TF “Michael Turner”
JB “Can you remember why he wasn’t called at your trial?”
TF “No. He said that he was very surprised when he heard thaht from the the evidence that was submitted I’d been found guilty.”
JB “What was your defence?"
TF “There wasn’t much of a defence. I didn’t steal the money. How can you prove that? you know - that you haven’t stolen anything.”
JB “At that stage was there any examination of the way the Horizon system worked in the course of your trial?”
TF “No"
[Tracy was sentenced to six months in prison]
JB “What was Holloway prison like?”
TF “Your worst nightmare. It was horrible. It wasn’t a place for a young girl.”
JB “Just remind us how old you were.”
TF “I was 19.”

JB “One of your duties was to deliver hot drinks around...
… the wings; is that right?… Was there an occasion where you saw something particularly horrific?”
TF “Yes there was. I saw a young girl hanging in the cell.”

JB “How did the experience of, i think, three months in Holloway you spent in the end affect your mental health?"
TF “It hasn’t stopped. I have intense therapy to try to get over what I’ve been through to deal with the stresses, the feelings, the flashbacks, the dreams, the nightmares…"
[After leaving prison Tracy moved out of the area and built a new life, but struggled to find work. Her dad saw a TV programme about faults with Horizon featuring Lord Arbuthnot. Tracy found the Justice For Subpostmasters Alliance]
[and joined up via them to the the Post Office's 2013 mediation scheme (eventually described as a “sham” by the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance)]

TF “Obviously I’d learnt to kind of bury everything and live with the fact that I had a criminal record which in an area…"
“… that I lived in nobody knew at the time.”
JB “So like suppression.”
TF “Yes, literally I just buried everything. Feelings… I never spoke about prison. I never spoke about anything. so that was opening a can of worms for me - it was opening up all those feelings...
… and memories again.”
JB “Did it cause a deterioration in your mental health again?”
TF “Yes it did. I was back on tablets… I’d got married in 2008 and then in 2015 I got divorced and that… I’m not saying that wholly that the Post Office are to blame for all that, because...
… they’re not, but it had an impact on my mental health and they way I saw things and the way I reacted. It had an impact on my marriage.”
[we move on to Tracy being in court at the Court of Appeal in 2021]
JB “What was it like to live?”
TF “It was horrible. In the space...
… of 20 minutes I had three judges say that 20 years of my life basically was erased. It was for nothing. I’d gone through everything for nothing. I was a child."
JB “What would you like to happen now?”
TF “I’d like for somebody to be held accountable. It’s not just...
… one person. There’s not just one person that knew what was going on here. Somebody needs to be held accountable. I want them to sit here and feel what we feel…. Do they have children? How would they feel if it was their daughter? My 15 year old son said to me last week...
… that he’s glad that he doesn’t have the same surname as me. He sits in school and he hears people talking… he sees stuff… they have screens that pject the news. He’s happy that he doesn’t have the same surname as me."
[Tracy’s evidence has finished. Seema Misra is up next. It was Davinder Misra, Seema’s husband, who introduced me to this story in November 2010, whilst Seema was still in prison. Seema’s conviction was quashed last year after 11 years of fighting. They still have yet to...
… receive full and final compensation. Davinder is here too.]
I ought to point out this is all being streamed live on the inquiry’s youtube channel. I am trying to tweet as much verbatim as I can, but you can just watch it!…
[Seema is waiting to be sworn in. Sir Wyn is back on the screen.]
Jason Beer QC is again asking the questions.

Seema confirms she is 46yo and that her written witness statement is correct.
[She confirms she is married to Davinder Misra and has two children aged 21 and 10.]
JB you had a business before the Post Office
SM yes in Caddington between Luton and Dunstable
JB but it wasn’t a PO?
JB “How did you come to about that you started to work for the...
… Post Office?”
SM Me and my husband have always been business-minded so we had a shop, we done really well it was like the first retail outless and we said it’s definitely a good business to be in. We were looking to expand like normal business people so we were...
… looking around for an opportunity - that’s how we came across the West Byfleet Post Office opportunity.
[JB asks SM to slow down - she does speak very quickly and I think you’re not going to get many verbatim quotes out of me…]
[Seema explains that they sold their property and shop in Caddington and took the equity (about £107,000) into the West Byfleet PO. It was a lease for around £200k with stock on top - they took out a £67k mortgage to get the lease. Seema was accepted by the Post Office and...
… became the Subpostmaster. She did some off-site Horizon training in 2005. It was two weeks training in London, but they were done by lunchtime each day - “it was majority cross-selling”. Seema also got on-site training once she was in charge.]
SM “I’m pretty sure it was 30 June 2005. I had a trainer Junaid.. he’s like ‘cash up' okay that’s fine we cash up and were around about £100… short and I say ‘why there’s a shortfall?’ and his exact wording ‘oh you just had an audit yesterday… it’s never penny to penny’ And...
… I was thinking I had experience of running a shop. I worked in the City and I said - ‘why wouldn’t you be penny to penny?’"
[Seema could never get the system to balance from day 1. During her probation period she was given a surprise audit. She was found to be £4000 down. She was told to make it good, but she couldn’t afford to, so the Post Office took it out of her salary.]
SM “I said I want to know where the money is going. Why are we losing money… how can I describe them? They call them auditor, but they’re like bouncers - you see, very big. I’m tall as well but they’re bigger, they look down on you - big. He gave me a warning and said ‘Mrs...
… Misra, any time you are £500 short we’ll take the Post Office away.' And that was it.”
[we move forward to when Seema has another audit and she has an £80,000 discrepancy. She is suspended and charged in Dec 2008 with theft and false accounting. Seema accepts...
… she was hiding her discrepancies and so pleaded guilty to that “I knew the money is not there so I still accept it so if you call that false accounting, yes I did.”]
[Unlike many Subpostmasters Seema was not offered a plea bargain - the PO pursued the issue of theft. She says she was advised by her own legal team to plead guilty to both to cop a lesser sentence. Seema refused “why should I plead guilty for a crime which I haven’t done?”]
[Seema is now telling the dramatic and extraordinary story of the eve of her trial - in desperation she was googling around and found an article about Jo Hamilton, she called South Warnborough Village Stores, got through to Jo and begged Jo to help her...
.. Jo ran across the road to her lawyer and her lawyer suggested that they ask for a delay to the trial in order to look into Horizon system. The next day, the judge agreed and an independent IT expert was appointed to investigate the Horizon system. The trial was re-set for...
… Oct 2010.]
JB “Before the trial started, you mentioned that there were some disclosure issues?”
SM “Correct”
JB “Can you remember what any of those were?”
SM “I don’t know the exact wording but all I know… if it hasn’t been produced it won’t be a fair trial.”
JB “So there...
… was an application to stop the trial because documents hadn’t been produced?”
SM “True yeah.”
[The trial was not stopped. Seema was found guilty.]
SM “I still remember the Judge Stewart’s wording. He said there is no fact, no evidence that I’ve taken any money before they...
… pass it on to the jury to decide. So he said that and still the jury had to decide if I’m guilty or not.”
[Seema was sentenced to prison on 11 Nov 2010. It was her son’s 10th birthday. She was pregnant. She collapsed in court and was taken to Guildford hospital. Once she...
… had been stablised, she was taken to Bronzefield prison]
JB “What was your experience of prison like?”
SM “Nightmare. I never thought I’m going to come out alive from there. I swear to God if I hadn’t been pregnant I would have killed myself that’s for sure. Being the prison..
[sorry]… Being in the prison for the crime I never committed was like I brought shame to my family… While in the prison I had… people were self-harming… I still hope that it’s just like a nightmare but it’s not.”
JB “And all this time you were pregnant?’
SM “Yes. Pregnant...
… for the baby we’d been waiting for such a long time.”
JB “And your ten year old son on the outside?”
SM “Yes.”
JB “Did he come to visit?”
SM “Yes, but he didnt’ know it was a prison. We told him because Mummy’s pregnant she’s in a special hospital. We didn’t know what to...
… say to him.”
[Seema explains how the local newspaper characterised her]
SM “Pregnant thief. The Pregnant Thief. My picture was in the front of the local newspaper… Davinder... had been beaten up a few times because he’s my husband, so the locals beat him up.”
JB “The words...
… I’ve seen recorded as having been said to your husband were ‘fucking paki coming to this country and stealing old people’s money’.
SM “Yes”
JB “Is that right?”
SM “Correct”
[After her release Seema wore a tag, but became a recluse in case she was near a crime being...
… committed and was falsely accused, which would mean that she would have to go back to prison. She only found out Davinder had been beaten up when she got out. She became concerned for her childrens’ safety so they moved house.]
[Seema describes how she was unable to find work because of her conviction.]
JB “Did the conviction affect other areas of your life?”
SM “For nine years we had to hide the truth from our eldest son. We only told him in 2019 when we won the GLO [the Bates v Post Office group...
… litigation] that this is what happened. He was only ten years old - in the morning mummy promising him to drop him to school and in the evening we will celebrate your birthday. And in the evening I’m not here.”

SM “Davinder my husband became an alcoholic because of what...
… was going on and I can still feel the frustration in him that he couldn’t protect me from the Post Office and he couldn’t get justice for me yet. I still feel that frustration in him… And whilst I was in the prison my parents back home in India… thought Dave [Seema...
… often calls Davinder Dave] might have harmed me. So they were harassing him saying like ‘what have you done to my daughter?’ So.. he was getting pressure from my parents as well. But I couldn’t call them.”
SM “I was so scared when I came out when most people...
… stopped talking to us anyway. When we moved house as well when everybody used to ask me my name, I just used to say Seema. I’m proud of my name. I never said Seema Misra - what if they google it? Because it was everywhere. For eight years we didn’t celebrate...
… my son’s birthday because I was scared, you know? I did not want him to get bullied at school… I did the late school runs so no one could seem. My son played cricket. I used to take him when I started going out a bit. I never stepped into the ground… I just used to park...
… my car in a way that I can see him and be proud of him I can see him playing, but I did not want anybody else to see me.”
[Seema moves on to the shocking episode at the Court of Appeal when the Post Office suggested their legal team had committed a contempt of court…]
[… it led to their barristers Flora Page and Paul Marshall stepping back from the case in order to clear their names]
SM “I was so scared. For me it’s just like the Post Office… like a Mafia… they were like a Mafia because of what happened to Mr Marshall and Ms Page… they...
… might get me killed. I swear to God I was scared to g out - that I’m going to cross a road Post Office will probably hire somebody and they might crush me. I was scared to drive that you know they might get me involved in an accident so I never get to court… My son...
… was at University in London. I was calling him like ‘when you coming home… let me know where you are.’ I was so scared of everybody’s safety that anything is possible.”
SM: “How can Post Office lied under oath in my trial. So did Gareth Jenkins from Fujitsu and when...
… I lost my case they celebrated. Why? Because they wanted to set an example to others…. they probably thought they can crush this Indian lady."
[Seema moves on to what should happen now]
SM “All these people who made money, they might have retired now, they might have stepped down… they should be behind bars straight away. Sometimes I wonder what we are waiting for? Are we waiting for them to run away?...
… their money should be taken off them their houses should be put up for auction like they did mine. And their money should be distributed among the 555.”
SM “I’m really thankful for the inquiry so we can put our point forward, but at the same time I don’t want the Post...
… Office to hide behind the inquiry… I have told my story so many times but again when I still speak about it it brings the nightmares back… it’s like lifetime imprisonment. I don’t think I’ll be able to… I would love to forget about it and move on, but I don’t know how."
SM: “I say it for myself and probably the same for everybody - not just physically, we are mentally tired. We wanted to enjoy life whatever we’ve got left... It’s not easy.. but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up…. I just say, please get this sorted.”
[Seema is thanked by the judge. She leaves the witness chair and starts sobbing uncontrollably on the shoulder of her husband.]
[Seema, Janet, Tracy and their legal team have left the room. We break for lunch.]
Seema outside the inquiry building. Image
I forgot to mention - I was at the inquiry yesterday and witnessed a truly powerful personal statement from Subpostmaster Malcolm Simpson - please do have a read of the write up here:…

#PostOfficeScandal Lesley and Malcolm Simpson
Janet Louise Skinner, 51, from Hull in Yorkshire has just been sworn in - she has two children “33 and 30 - I was quite young!" Janet Skinner
[Janet is being asked questions by Catriona Hodge on behalf of the inquiry. Janet starts by telling her she started at the Post Office as a counter clerk on a council estate in Hull]
JS: “Loved it. Every day was a different day. You just never had two days the...
… same. You sort of got used to the people you were serving as well.”

[Please note only the words in “direct quotes” are direct quotes - the rest is a summary]

CH: “Were you ever required to do balancing when you were a counter clerk?”
JS: “No, no, no, no.”
[Janet started in 1994, rising through the ranks of assistant manager and manager of various Post Office’s in the Hull area. She eventually became a Subpostmistress in 2004 - the Horizon IT system was already in her branch]

CH: “What was the salary that you received for...
… running this branch?”
JS: “I think it was £4,500 or… I can’t actually remember”
CH: “Was that per month?”
JS: “Yeah that was per month. So then I covered the staff and the rent on the business itself.”

CH: “Had you any previous experience of using the [Horizon] system...
… before you became a Subpostmistress?”
JS: “Yes it was installed when I worked in an office called Grandel [??] in Hull in 2000 and that’s when I had the first call with the Horizon system itself.”
CH: “What problems did you experience when using Horizon?”
JS: “The Horizon...
… system never balanced. It was either up or it was down. It was never spot on.”
[Janet describes regularly calling the Horizon helpline when she was Subpostmaster]
CH: According to the judgment of the Court of Appeal, you contacted the helpline 115 [?] times between...
… times between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2005; is that right?”
JS: “Yes.”
CH: “What advice did you receive?”
JS: “Basically the same. If the office was short it was my responsibility to make good. That I was wrong."
[Matters come to a head in 2006]
CH: “What happened?”
JS: “My office was running at a loss of £40,000. I had a visit from two retail network managers… when they came I took them in back, explained to them that my office was running at a loss. They asked if they could...
… do a cash check… so I said to be honest I’d rather have an audit and sort it out.”
[This happened, the loss was confirmed and Janet was suspended]
CH: “How did you feel when you were told to leave your branch?”
JS: “Devasted, absolutely devastated but I think I was more...
… relieved as well because I thought now obviously they’re going to get to the bottom of what’s gone wrong. I think you sort of put your trust in them because they’re portraying themselves as as trusted brand.”
[The auditors claimed Janet was running a £59,000 loss. She was ...
… searched and told if she took anything from behind the counter it would be classed as theft.]
CH: “How did you feel when you returned home later that day?”
JS: “I was devastated absolutely. Everything just crushed. You just feel crushed.”
[we are rattling through this]
[Janet has described being taken for an interview]
JS: “Somebody rang me and said would you like to attend an interview tomorrow. It’s just a chat… you don’t have to bring anybody with you, but if you do bring somebody with you they can’t speak and if they do speak...
… they’ll be told to leave. So I attended a main Post Office branch… the following day and met with two Post Office investigators Andy Matthews and Steven Bradshaw.”
[It was not an informal chat. The two investigators couldn’t get their tape recorder to work, so...
… they took Janet to a police station to use their equipment.]
JS: “As soon as they started recording they cautioned me.”
CH: “Before you were cautioned had anybody told you that you were suspected of stealing this money.”
JS: ”No”
[Janet tells the inquiry how the investigators
… ketp asking what she’d done with the money. She was adamant she hadn’t done anything with any money.]
JS: They concluded the interview, said that they would be speaking to the staff, but at the end of it Steven Bradshaw did say to me we’ve dealt with people who’ve...
… stolen from the Post Office before and we know you haven’t done anything wrong.”
[In August 2006, Janet received a letter saying she was going to be prosecuted for theft and false accounting. Janet’s solicitor was Karl Turner, now an MP]
JS: “On the day he said ‘they’ve...
… offered you a plea bargain. If you plead guilty to the false accounting they’ll drop the theft’…. Karl said 'obviously if you take the lesser charge - plead guilty to it - there’s a good chance you won’t get a custodial sentence', so that’s what I did."
CH: “Did you know at that time that there were others who’d experienced problems using Horizon like you?”
JS: “No.”
CH: “How old were your children at this time?”
[Janet breaks down]
JS: “My daughter was 17 and my son was 14."
[Janet pleaded guilty to avoid prison, but was sent to prison anyway]
JS: “You’re stood in the docik, and he said that he was giving me a 9 month prison sentence because if the aount of money that was involved because I’d stolen from the Crown.”
CH: “How did you feel when you...
… were escorted out of the courtroom?”
JS: “I was just an emotional wreck. I dont’ actually remember. The only thing I remember is being in the holding cell and then going to Wakefield prison.”

CH: “What happened on your arrival at prison?”
JS: “I was photographed...
… finger-printed, told to remove my clothes so they could strip search me. So they made me stand and crouch and then put a mirror underneath me to make sure you hadn’t taken anything with you.”
CH: “Did you have an opportunity to speak to your children?’
JS: [breaks down again]
JS: “I was given a phone call there in the evening and my daughter wouldn’t actually speak to me because she was just… she was an emotional wreck and I didn’t want to speak to her to be honest. I was so ashamed. I was supposed to be there to protect them and show them...
… to do the right thing, but yet you do the right thing and I went to jail anyway.”
[Janet has rattled through her evidence making some powerful points at the end.]
JS: “I can’t work. I just can’t get a job because there’s days when I can’t even get out of bed...
… It’s destroyed my life. It’s destroyed my life, but I am a fighter. I’ll fight through things…There’s too many people involved in what’s gone wrong either it be within the Government, the Royal Mail, the Post Office, the legal system, the defences, the legal teams...
… So many people that have wronged all these people and destroyed so many lives. We need answers from it.”

JS: “People think that we’re here because of money and people automatically think that all we’re bothered about is compensation...
… The only thing that compensation will ever change is our financial stability. We’ve got a life sentence for what’s been done. We will never erase memories of what’s happened over these past 20 years… we’ve got to live with that. But yet you get the people at the top...
… just basically saying ‘I’m sorry we made a mistake’. You made a mistake by destroying people. Do you know Seema was right when she said there’s a split between them and us. So why is it the people at the top think they have more power - what makes them above the law...
… above anybody else? If we break the law, we get penalised. They’re breaking the law and nothing comes of it.”]

That’s the end of the live tweeting for now… mop up after photos outside.
Janet, Tracy and Seema after giving evidence to the Inquiry.

#PostOfficeScandal Janet Skinner, Tracy Felste...
I’ll be writing up today's and yesterday’s events in my secret email later.

You can sign up by buying my book here -… (expensive option) or making a donation to my tip jar here (cheap option, but you don’t get a book).
Here’s my take on yesterday’s evidence at the inquiry:…

And here’s my take on yesterday’s parliamentary debate:…
Thanks to everyone for the kind messages.

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More from @nickwallis

Feb 24
Just dropped into the inquiry to finally meet Malcolm and Lesley Simpson who I have corresponded with for a while now and have a great affection for. Malcolm is currently describing to the inquiry how he came to be a Postmasters at Box Grove Post Office.
I won’t tweet everything he says as the inquiry is being streamed almost-live on youtube here:…
Malcolm didn’t really want to take over the Post Office within his shop (in 2007), but when the existing Subpostmaster [SPM] retired he took it over “I wasn’t 100% happy about it… but it was there, it was an asset to the village”

Malcolm says of his training...
Read 54 tweets
Jan 11
Hello followers of the Post Office Horizon Scandal. I am going to attempt to live tweet the BEIS Select Committee hearing during which the Post Office CEO Nick Read is being grilled. You can watch it live here:…

Darren Jones, the committee chair starts of calling Mr Read “Nick” which is very chummy and asking him why he can’t give proper compensation to everyone.

Read says it’s difficult. He wants to be thorough and get it right. On the GLO settlement for the 555...
… Read says he can “empathise” and has been working with govt and encouraging govt to compensate them properly.

Jones asks the question again - what is stopping you from giving full settlement to everyone.

Read says he doesn’t have the resources. 950 prosecuted, 736 had...
Read 77 tweets
Jan 10
Oh ffs - new info from the Post Office Horizon Inquiry incoming:

The Inquiry has updated the Completed List of Issues to include an additional footnote in relation to Issue No. 183.In addressing...
“… paragraph 183, the Chair will consider whether all affected sub-postmasters, sub-postmistresses, managers and assistants, were adequately compensated for the wrongs they suffered….
“… The additional footnote confirms that this includes the 555 Claimants in the group litigation of Alan Bates and Others v Post Office Limited case [2019] EWHC 34308 (QB).”

This confirms the assurance given to solicitors Howe and Co that compensation for the 555...
Read 4 tweets
Jan 10
The only new info i can see in this letter from Paul Scully is that the £57.75m settlement announced in Dec 2019 is now being represented as £42.75m plus costs. We have long been led to believe the costs plus funders' success fees left the claimants with circa £12m to share...
... assuming that remains correct then the breakdown of the civil litigation settlement would be:

Lawyers: £15m
Funders: £30.75m
Claimants: £12m

Total: £57.75

Though I am assuming the term "costs" equates to legal fees, which might be wrong. Or the new figure from Scully...
... is a typo (unlikely as he repeats it), or I've made some other erroneous assumption leading to a glaring error. Presentationally it is a bit weird though - why is Scully trying to claim the claimants got £42.75m after costs when for the last two years we've been...
Read 8 tweets
Jan 7
Well this is interesting. Nick Read - Post Office CEO, and Paul Scully - business minister, are going to appear before the BEIS Select Committee on Tuesday next week to answer questions about compensation for Subpostmasters. Tom Cooper, the government civil servant and PO...
… director (who sat on the board throughout its disastrous, expensive, and - some would say immoral - civil litigation defence) will also be answering questions.

There are three distinct tranches of Postmasters requiring compensation….
1) Those going through the government funded, Post Office-operated Historical Shortfall Scheme. Alistair Carmichael MP has already raised serious concerns about its fairness in the HoC (…)...
Read 9 tweets
Dec 14, 2021
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

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