POST OFFICE: HORIZON SCANDAL – BBC PANORAMA PROGRAMME – MONDAY 23RD MARCH
Further to LTB 116/20 dated 11th March 2020.
I would like to advise Branches and members that a BBC Panorama programme in relation to the Horizon scandal will be aired on BBC One on Monday 23rd March at 2030 (for half an hour), the day before the second session of the BEIS Select Committee Inquiry and also the meeting of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
Nick Wallis, the independent journalist who has been closely following this story for a number of years is presenting the programme, which is entitled “Scandal at the Post Office” and is described as follows: “Panorama reveals how the Post Office covered up evidence of miscarriages of justice”. The programme is likely to be hard-hitting and highly critical of the behaviour of senior Post Office management and also its relationship with the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP), which let down so badly hundreds of Postmasters.
Second Session of the BEIS Select Committee Inquiry – 24th March
On the following day, 24th March, the second evidence session of the BEIS Select Committee Inquiry into the Horizon case is scheduled to take place. The Committee is expected to question the current Post Office CEO, Nick Read, the former CEO, Paula Vennells, Fujitsu, a BEIS Minister and a representative from UKGI (UK Government Investments).
Criminal Cases Review Commission – Meeting 24th March
The following question from Gill Furniss, Shadow BEIS Minister, was asked to the Ministry of Justice and was answered on 17 March 2020:
Asked by Gill Furniss (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough) To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure the Criminal Case Review Commission is adequately resourced to process quickly the cases of former subpostmasters convicted due to errors in the Horizon IT system.
Answered by Alex Chalk, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice:
The Government believes that the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is sufficiently funded for the valuable work that it undertakes including the work to complete its reviews into the Post Office Horizon cases, with the necessary speed and thoroughness.
For the 57 Post Office Horizon cases it is reviewing, the CCRC is currently preparing for a Case Decision Committee meeting, involving three Commissioners, on 24th March 2020.
Further developments will be reported.