Yesterday afternoon I met with a number of Post Office sub-postmasters who have been wrongfully blamed for problems with their software systems.
Sub-postmasters are the managers of sub-post offices, which make up the vast majority of the Post Office Network. They are required to use Horizon, an accounting system which all financial transactions must pass through.
In recent years over 100 offices have reported unexplained losses and postmasters are adamant that this is due to a fault with Horizon. However, the Post Office is insistent that there no problems with the system and have declined to conduct an investigation into either Horizon or why the losses have appeared.
Instead they have prosecuted dozens of postmasters, accusing them of false accounting and forcing them to pay for the shortfall. Postmasters have been left liable for costs as high as £300,000 and many have had to declare bankruptcy as a result. In the cases where the postmaster has been unable to pay up many of them have faced prison sentences.
It is unacceptable that sub-postmasters are being made to suffer for flaws with the system. Meeting with representatives in Parliament was very eye opening and I urge anyone in my constituency who has experienced any of these problems to get in contact with me.