Shropshire Star

Lib Dems pledge to compensate victims of Horizon scandal that has dogged Davey

Sir Ed Davey has been hit by disclosures over his role as minister amid the Post Office Horizon IT scandal.

Last updated
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey during the party’s General Election manifesto launch in London

The Liberal Democrats have promised in their manifesto to compensate the victims of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, an issue that has dogged party leader Sir Ed Davey.

Sir Ed has recently come under fire for failing to do more to help wrongly-convicted subpostmasters when he served as postal affairs minister under the coalition government between 2010 and 2012.

Hundreds of branch managers were prosecuted by the Post Office between 1999 and 2015 after Fujitsu’s faulty Horizon IT system made it look as though money was missing from their shops.

Campaigner Alan Bates criticised Sir Ed Davey for failing to meet him sooner
Campaigner Alan Bates criticised Sir Ed Davey for failing to meet him sooner (Lucy North/PA)

Sir Ed is set to give evidence to the Horizon IT inquiry on July 18.

The General Election manifesto the Lib Dem leader launched on Monday centred on health and care, but buried on page 101 of the 116-page document was also a pledge to “ensure justice for the victims of scandals and prevent future scandals”.

This included “providing full and fair compensation to all victims of the Horizon Post Office scandal and the Infected Blood scandal as quickly as possible”.

Hundreds of subpostmasters are still awaiting compensation despite the Government announcing that those who have had convictions quashed are eligible for £600,000 payouts.

Alan Bates, who led the campaign for justice for subpostmasters, recently criticised Sir Ed for initially refusing to meet him in 2010.

The disclosure led to calls from Tory MPs for the Lib Dem leader – who has never been slow in calling for others to quit – to stand down and to hand back his knighthood.

Sir Ed said he regretted not doing so sooner and apologised for failing to see through the Post Office’s “lies”.

But he complained that he, like other ministers, was deceived “on an industrial scale”.

His party has insisted that it was unfair for him to be singled out in this way, arguing that he was only one of a series of postal ministers, from all three main parties, to hold office over the course of the scandal.

Speaking during the Liberal Democrats’ visit to Thorpe Park on Monday, Sir Ed said: “I have been campaigning hard for postmasters in my constituency and more broadly.

“Like everyone else, (I’m) really upset about what happened and quite angry the subpostmasters were lied to, that I and all ministers of political parties were lied to.”

He added: “The system of government is complicated and it relies on people telling the truth, so it’s very difficult in a very complicated, very, very busy ministerial position to work out that you’re being lied to.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.