Meeting arranged between Ryedale MP and minister to address Post Office scandal
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Meeting arranged between Ryedale MP and minister to address Post Office scandal

Mr Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, expected to discuss how to help convicted branch managers clear their names. The Horizon scandal raised in the Commons as Parliament returns this week amid growing anger over the wrongful prosecution of subpostmasters and postmistresses for alleged fraud. Conservative backbencher David Davis and Labour MP Kevan Jones pushing for an emergency debate after an ITV drama returned the widespread miscarriage of justice to the spotlight. Calls grow for former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells to hand back her CBE and measures to be introduced to secure redress for the victims. More than 700 Post Office branch managers given criminal convictions after faulty Fujitsu accounting software called Horizon made it appear as though money was missing from their shops.

Treasury minister Bim Afolami said Justice Secretary Alex Chalk was “urgently” looking to accelerate the “slow wheels of justice” and warned that senior Post Office executives from the period will need to account for their actions. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer last week resisted backing calls for the former Post Office chief to lose her CBE. Ms Vennells, who ran the Post Office while it routinely denied there was a problem with its Horizon IT system, has said she was “truly sorry” for the “suffering” caused to subpostmasters who were wrongly convicted of offences. Lord Arbuthnot, who was an MP at the time of the scandal, said Parliament should work to see that the miscarriage of justice is dealt with in a “mass way”.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Mr Jones, who is a member of the Horizon compensation advisory board, said a “number of individuals” should be prosecuted over the scandal. Another member of the board predicted people would be charged over the scandal as Scotland Yard probe potential fraud offences arising out of the initial prosecutions. Mr Chalk is expected to meet Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake on Monday to discuss how to help the convicted branch managers clear their names.