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Petition to strip Paula Vennels of her CBE: The Post Office Scandal

Link to the petition here: Post Office Scandal: Strip Paula Vennells of her CBE | 38 Degrees

In my opinion, she should be stripped of all honours, and made to parade naked through the streets, with people throwing excrement at her. Also, the lawyers who acted for the Post Office in the prosecutions should be disbarred, locked up and the key thrown away. And the executives of Fujitsu, the company who designed the Horizon system, should be publicly flogged.



  • Myself and the good Mrs Holmer watched the programme after new year, and it's an absolute national disgrace how the post office behaved and acted towards these poor people, I went between sad and angry while watching it.

    We have both already signed this, too much momentum gathering now for her not to lose it. But so many other people that caused harm should also be held to account.

  • Fujitsu are totally getting away with this, hardly getting a mention and still raking in the cash from government contracts.

  • I would sign, however my attempt has been rejected with the following notification displayed:-

    "The request could not be verified by the bot detection system. Please check your internet connection and try again."

    I have no idea what this means or how to overcome it. Has anyone else encountered the same issue?

  • @Frome_Blue - you are spot on, having dealt with Fujitsu on a number of projects they are generally pretty poor, but sadly as they are on the governments preferred supplier list they have picked up more than 150 contracts since the issues with their Horizon system came to light.

    From their latest accounts they posted well over £20m UK profits & paid millions in bonuses to their directors (

    As for Vennells, one has to wonder how she has squared her professed religious beliefs, with accepting an honour in the aftermath of the Horizon scandal.

  • You'd think the Government would have been a bit pissed off with Fujitsu after the Japanese giant sued them for cancelling the NHS IT contract in 2008 and were eventually awarded circa £700m after 10 years of behind closed doors litigation.

  • It’s a massive story and quite simply the most widespread miscarriage of justice in British history. It also asks serious questions of Labour and Lib Dem (as a junior coalition partner) whilst the Tories are now scrabbling around trying to sort it out. All belatedly happening now because of an excellent ITV documentary bringing the justified outrage to the masses.

    Credit also to the local BBC journo (Nick Wallis) who picked this story up from day one and has stuck with it the whole way. An unsung hero.

  • It is indeed a disgraceful establishment failure which greatly damaged many people’s lives. Frankly couldn’t give a damn about a gong (which shouldn’t exist anyway) for an ex-executive. The big question here is why the system (government, parliament, the police, the law, the papers etc etc) did feck all for years after this scandal was uncovered and only sprung into action now because of a TV programme and the burst of temporary public outrage that follows it until attention moves on to the next headline satiated by being thrown a bone like taking away a meaningless “honour”. Everything wrong with our country in a nutshell in my view.

  • I can’t understand why we still have people who have convictions based on the Horizon system as evidence, if it’s been proven to be untrustworthy they need to be cleared now.

  • This for me is the most important thing in all of this. Forget the leaders of this disaster and honours for a short while and get the government to concentrate on clearing the good names of 100’s of innocent hard working Post Masters whose life has been ruined by these accusations.

    As Phil mentions above Nick Wallis has followed this story many years and wrote a book on it a few years ago.

  • It's not quite that simple. We have an independent Judiciary in this country, and the Government can't simply tell the Courts what to do. As we have seen on many previous occasions, such as the Rwanda fiasco, the Courts have ruled against Government wishes.

    They are currently looking at ways to fast-track the overturning of convictions: Post Office scandal: Options considered speed up justice for victims - BBC News, and it is likely that they will have to pass primary legislation, so that the Court of Appeal can rubber stamp appeals against conviction for all those currently awaiting a hearing date.

  • It seems they only started "looking at ways to fast-track the overturning of convictions" a couple of weeks ago when the TV programme aired and not years ago when the issue first became clear. Don't try and paint the current Government in a good light. They have failed the little person here. As if course have the opposition for not pushing the matter and the whole Parliamentary system set up. There is already an inquiry and it will eventually make some recommendations and I suspect the tabloids and the masses will be thrown their appeasing bone and Vennells will lose her "honour" but fundamentally nothing will change. Democracy really is the worst form of government (apart from all the others)

  • Nick Wallis' Radio 4 series on this scandal was absolutely first rate, and this behind the scenes look is also well worth listening to.

  • A benevolent dictatorship is a government in which an authoritarian leader exercises absolute political power over the state, but is perceived to do so with regard for benefit of the population as a whole, standing in contrast to the decidedly malevolent stereotype of a dictator who focuses on their supporters and their own self-interests. A benevolent dictator may allow for some civil liberties or democratic decision-making to exist, such as through public referendums or elected representatives with limited power, and can make preparations for a transition to genuine democracy during or after their term.[1][2][need quotation to verify]

  • I'm not trying to paint the current Government in a good light.

    This all started in 1999, when the Blair Government was in office. Kier Starmer was DPP from 2008 t0 2013, and the Lib Dem's Ed Davey was Minister responsible for the Post Office in the coalition Government 2010-2012.

    So all three main parties have sat on their hands, and failed to do anything until recently.

    One possible positive outcome may be that the Post Office's powers to bring private prosecutions are rescinded, and any suspected fraud by postmasters would then have to go through the normal judicial system, with strict rules of evidence.

  • @bargepole is correct - all the main political parties have been complicit in hoping this would go away, despite this issue being covered extensively in the media as highlighted above. However, only now after a terrestial channel broadcasts the story does it kickstart poiticians into life, there must be an election looming!

  • This grim scandal has been well documented for years by a small band of journalists, which makes a mockery of the pearl clutching astonishment of assorted politicians of all stripes. But the CBE stripping issue is a sideshow. The question here is why was it awarded in the first place?

    Our honours system exists to provide the current government of the day to electioneer (usually by the way of dishing them out like confetti to sporting / entertainment figures to please the masses), elicit political or financial support, or to keep people who know too much onside.

    Their existence encourages corruption, while dressing it all up as laudable because they lob the odd award to the common man.

    Why does anyone get a CBE for their work? Isn’t that what wages are for?

    When it comes to honours, I’m firmly in the J G Ballard camp.

  • I completely agree. It was that excellent, painstaking Nick Wallis series that really brought home to me how successive governmental, political and business leaderships obstructed, whether wilfully or just in denial, all attempts to get the truth of the situation out. It's just so depressing that it's taken a TV drama to achieve the first real focus on the story from the mass media and so the political class.

  • Why else would this Tory rabble do anything about this terrible situation? Sunak is clutching at straws and sees this as an opportunity no doubt.

  • Lets face it Labour did nothing about it for 11 years even though people were being prosecuted and imprisoned within 9 months of the system going live and they had reports from numerous postmasters that the system had failings.

    Wouldn't it be great if they all got together admitted they all made errors and would set up a cross party group to Fast Track the clearing of these peoples names.

  • No political party comes out well out of this and the party political mudslinging we are seeing from all sides and their allies in the media sums up all that is wrong about our political and governing system. We the people get the politicians we deserve. We lap up this mudslinging crap as long as it is aimed against the parties we oppose - so guess what they do it some more. Meanwhile problems that are festering are left undealt with while the politicians bicker and deal with todays media outrage story.

  • Unless I'm mistaken, Starmer, as DPP, had nothing to do with the private prosecutions the Post Office brought.

  • Yes, as I understand one of the problems for the victims is that the Post Office's own reticence to clear the Sub-Postmasters.

  • Starmer is DEFINITELY the key culprit here, according to such respected organs as the Telegraph, Daily Express, Guido Fawkes and GB News. Plus, of course, Nigel Farage (feels like a pattern emerging here).

    As I understand it from my other half, who has a legal background, the Post Office (along with other organisations like the Care Quality Commission) can privately prosecute cases, as they have done here. Not sure the Crown Prosecution Service (and Director of Public Prosecutions) would have any involvement.

    It's fair to ask about his interest / actions in this case as a politician, but the DPP thing is just mud-slinging.

  • One thing that was massively downplayed in the Toby Jones drama was what an awful bunch of complicit shits their union was too.

  • Private Eye was covering this for years and I was always amazed nobody really picked it up...also remember now ITV executive Adam Crozier who was running Royal Mail. (Funny he did not get a mention in the drama...) Although Vennells needs punishment, let's not limit it to the woman again!

    As for compo one assumes like the Blood Infection Scandal and the Windrush Scandal, they will kick the can down the road hoping all the people with a claim die before they have to pay up.

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