Post Office Horizon scandal inquiry must ensure injustice cannot happen again – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for the newly opened public inquiry on the Post Office Horizon scandal to ensure that such an injustice within the organisation cannot happen again. Between 2000 and 2014, the Post Office prosecuted 736 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses based on information from the Horizon computer system.

Some went to prison following convictions for false accounting and theft, many were financially ruined and have described being shunned by their communities. Some have since died. After 20 years, campaigners won a legal battle to have their cases reconsidered, after claiming that the computer system was flawed. Mr Carmichael has been working with representatives of a postmistress in Orkney who was affected by the scandal and has called for any others affected to contact his office for support if needed.

Mr Carmichael said:

“The Post Office’s lack of transparency with ministers from all sides of the political spectrum has contributed to the financial disgrace of families, broken friendships, and irreparable emotional damage. Justice has finally been served, and I can only hope the victims can find some solace in it.

“The public inquiry must ensure injustices like this don't ever happen again. Ultimately the greatest failure of the Horizon scandal was not the software itself but the culture within the Post Office that led to them ignoring the mounting evidence from hundreds of postmasters and postmistresses that something was awry.

“We need the inquiry to identify who was responsible for that failure of culture that made this possible so that we know what needs to change for the future. It also remains possible that there is further compensation that must be agreed based on damages – the inquiry is one means of establishing the extent of the losses incurred by innocent people. I am already working with people in the isles who were affected by the scandal but I would strongly urge any other postmasters or postmistresses in the isles who have been impacted to get in touch.”

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