The former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells who was responsible for the suffering of 39 wrongly convicted Post Office workers has now resigned from her other posts at Dunelm and Morrisons in the wake of the scandal. She released a statement saying “I am truly sorry for the suffering caused to the 39 subpostmasters as a result of their convictions which were overturned last week.” Well Paula, this is quite frankly not good enough. There was clear evidence that the computer system provided by Fujitsu was filled with bugs from the outset in 1999. She decided to ignore these bugs and instead push the blame on to loyal and hardworking staff who then faced criminal convictions.
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Paula Vennells walked away with £4.9 million in pay and bonuses whilst she decided to pursue 550 postmasters through the civil courts to get back money she claimed was stolen. She even hired and fired a team of forensic accountants who pointed the finger at the faulty Horizon software. There was a failure to accept the real issue behind the seemingly missing funds by the Post Office, instead choosing to go on a bizarre witch hunt against staff and ruin their lives.
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In relation to Mrs Vennells it gives us a worry about our own NHS as she was deemed a ‘fit and proper person’ by NHS improvement when appointed as chairman of Imperial College NHS Trust. This is a person who promoted going after her own innocent staff for criminal convictions when ignoring real evidence, not exactly fit or proper in my opinion. She was also ordained as a priest and has been forced to step down from this role, she claims to be sorry now but where was her moral compass when the IT evidence was staring her in the face and she ignored it. I hope the wronged former Post Office employees continue to push back. It is a great shame to see a British institution in the Post Office have its reputation dragged through the mud but they must step up and do what is right for the innocent lives they have ruined.