Post Office Scandal: “Damning” tapes reveal shocking exchanges between senior bosses

A public investigation into the Post Office scandal is believed to have unearthed dozens of “damning” tapes, including startling exchanges between top executives.

Following the incarceration of 230 former postmasters and postmistresses in one of the biggest legal errors in British history, the former head of the Post Office is being urged to return her CBE.

Between 2010 and 2019, Paula Vennells held the positions of managing director and chief executive. She has been accused of concealing the crisis by failing to look into issues with the Horizon system.

Because of apparent account deficiencies brought on by the malfunctioning computer system, innocent persons were mistakenly labelled as thieves.

There are now rumours that a number of secret recordings of senior Post Office employees, including Vennells, will be made public.

It is anticipated that in due order, around 80 tapes will be sent to all parties concerned, including postmasters.

However, reports between 2010 and 2013 suggested the system had weaknesses and advice from a KC in 2013 found it was likely a senior IT expert had misled criminal trials when he failed to disclose his knowledge of bugs.

Kevin Hollinrake, the postal affairs minister, said Vennells should give her CBE back.

He said: “If I was Paula Vennells, I would say, well basically, the buck stops with me and I will hand back my CBE.

“I think that will be the right thing for Paula Vennells to do.”

She defended herself in June 2020 in a letter to the MPs’ business committee, saying it was up to senior lawyers to approve prosecutions and that she was misled by computer experts from Fujitsu, who told her the IT system was like “Fort Knox”.

In the summer of 2022 she said: “I remain truly sorry for the suffering caused to wrongly prosecuted sub-postmasters and their families.

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