Post Office Horizon Scandal

Compensation will make some amends for one of greatest miscarriages of justice this country has seen. Speed is vital for the compensation of the postmasters, every day delayed compounds the injustice. I asked the Minister to give a timescale for compensation #PostOfficeScandal



Chi Onwurah 

(Newcastle upon Tyne Central) (Lab)

 I thank my right hon. Friend the Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) for securing this urgent question and for his tireless efforts in standing up for all those affected by the Horizon scandal. I pay tribute to all the postmasters who fought for justice, and especially to the efforts and determination of the 555 litigants whose civil case paved the way for convictions to be quashed and compensation finally delivered.

Labour has consistently called for all those affected by the Horizon scandal to be able to access the compensation they deserve. It was simply unacceptable that those who led this slow march to justice had been excluded from the historical shortfall scheme. In a week in which we have had plenty of warm words from the Government on their commitment to British workers but little by way of action, it is vital that the Government get this right. Hard-working, honest people had their lives torn apart because of a misguided belief that workers are dishonest and technology infallible.

Today’s announcement is warmly welcomed on the Labour Benches. I thank the Minister for his work on this issue; his commitment has been unquestionable throughout. However, I do want to press him in saying that speed is now vital. The Government have delayed far too long in getting to this point, and there can be no 

further delays for all those affected to get the compensation that will go some way towards making amends for this appalling injustice. As such, will he say how many are affected and provide a timescale for when all compensation payments will have been made? Labour has called for all those involved to be held accountable, so will he update the House on what investigations are ongoing into the role of Fujitsu? Will he commit to regularly updating the House on the progress of the scheme? This has been one of the greatest miscarriages of justice this country has ever seen. Every day’s delay only compounds that injustice. I hope the Government can finally start to right these wrongs for good.

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