Secret email about the Post Office Scandal. Shh!

Phase 2 of the inquiry comes to a close with some draw-dropping evidence from the NFSP

Both ends of the telescope

Good morning

I’m meant to be writing about Johnny Depp, so I will try to keep this brief!

Over the weekend I posted up two very different stories:

1) Lisa Kear’s harrowing tale of trying to run a Post Office, which eventually broke her, financially and mentally, in November 2019. Read it here.

2) John Murray’s recollection of working for the Post Office during the procurement of Horizon/Pathway in the mid-nineties and his description of Fujitsu/ICL’s grasp of the project as “amateur hour”. Read that here.

Incidentally, if you want to receive each new blog post I write via email to your inbox as soon as it is published, all you have to do is go to the News page on the Post Office Scandal website and scroll down until you see the little box which says “Subscribe For Latest Blog Updates” and enter your email. All email addresses are kept by me (ie they don’t and will not go anywhere else – same as this newsletter mailing list) and are not used for any other purpose than informing you about Post Office scandal-related content.

Wise Paul

I am very grateful to Paul Gilbert from LBC Wise Counsel for his thought-provoking piece about attending the small gathering we had to launch the paperback version of The Great Post Office Scandal. It is aimed at lawyers, but I think it has a message for all of us. Read it here.

Inquiry-wise, it’s the last full week of hearings this year. The inquiry has lined up four former Secretaries of State to give evidence. Rebecca and I will be monitoring it in order to record our podcast on Friday. I suspect there will be a lot of mainstream interest in what Lord Alistair Darling (Tuesday), Sir Ian McCartney (Wedesday), Alan Johnson (Thursday) and Alan Milburn (Friday) have to say.

Personally I am more interested in the thoughts of former NFSP General Secretary Colin Baker, who will be appearing on Wednesday. I hope one of the barristers at the inquiry asks him if there was a policy decision at the NFSP not to criticise the Horizon IT system in public (I’m told there was, and objectively, there must have been), and what he thinks about that decision now, given it a) chilled a lot of potential journalistic investigations into what was happening and b) allowed hundreds of NFSP members to be thrown to the wolves.

Okay that’s it for now – don’t forget to listen to our round-up of last week’s evidence on our new podcast – Byers Beware – (which has a cold open completely by mistake – I was in such a rush to get it out before the England game I forgot to put the music on).

Enjoy your week and thanks once again for being a secret emailer.


If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to get it delivered directly to your inbox when it is published, please consider making a donation to fund the journalism behind it. Anyone who donates any selected amount will be added to the secret email mailing list. This newsletter will keep you informed about developements at the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry and the wider scandal. Thanks.