Anorak News | Post Office scandal boss Paul Vennells keeps her CBE

Post Office scandal boss Paul Vennells keeps her CBE

by | 26th, April 2021

Paula Vennells, the former chief executive of the Post Office (2012 – 2019), is to leave her role a non-executive director of the retailer Dunelm and step back from her “regular” duties as an ordained Church of England minister. Vennells was head of the Post Office during the Horizon IT scandal which led to the wrongful convictions of former postmasters. Last Friday, 39 former Post Office workers saw their criminal convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal. What they endured was horrific.

Lord Justice Holroyde said the Post Office “knew there were serious issues” and had a “clear duty to investigate”. But the Post Office “consistently asserted that Horizon was robust and reliable” and “effectively steamrolled over any sub-postmaster who sought to challenge its accuracy”.

Convictions were based on the flawed software system Horizon which showed shortfalls in their accounts where they did not exist. Branded thieves, liars and fraudsters over the missing money, these people and many more – more than 700! – had their lives ruined. Ms Vennells earned big. She was given a CBE title for “services to the Post Office and to charity”.

“It is obvious that my involvement with the Post Office has become a distraction from the good work undertaken in the Diocese of St Albans and in the parishes I serve,” says Vennells. “I have therefore stepped back with immediate effect from regular parish ministry, and intend to focus fully on working with the ongoing government inquiry to ensure the affected subpostmasters and wider public get the answers they deserve.”

She is a member of the government’s Financial Inclusion Policy Forum. Why a government inquiry only? Why is this investigation into the Post Office’s abhorrent behaviour not a criminal matter? Did they know the system was flawed?

Ms Dawn O’Connell never lived long enough to see her name cleared. Read her story here.

Posted: 26th, April 2021 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink