Secret email about the Post Office Scandal. Shh!

Round up of the week that was

Plus: Horizon error log

Good evening

I feel a little embarrassed – it is lovely to have so many new secret emailers join up over the last week. Unfortunately the amount of Post Office-related content and output I have managed to put together over the last few days has been limited.

As regular readers of this newsletter will be aware, publication date for my new book was yesterday. To help publicise it, Johnny Depp showed up at the Cannes Film Festival and then said some things at a press conference.

Thanks to that, my presence has been requested on various outlets to comment and talk about him and the book, which has rather dragged me away from watching the inquiry, or indeed thinking a great deal about Post Office matters at all.

Things will settle down soon, I hope, and I am grateful to your for your patience. Especially the new secret emailers who might be wondering exactly what they’ve donated for…!

Known errors

The only thing I have had a chance to do in the last seven days is publish a current list of known (and admitted) Horizon errors. Most seem innocuous, some are ridiculous. This is a system working well, apparently.

Imagine what it was like in the bad old days when Subpostmasters were getting sacked and prosecuted and Fujitsu and the Post Office weren’t telling them anything about Horizon errors. It makes the whole thing even more scandalous.

Other brilliant journalists

Whilst I have been indolent on the Post Office front, there has been plenty of journalistic activity elsewhere.

Tom Witherow at The Times has got the bit between his teeth at the moment. Yesterday he gave us two stories in one day:

Post Office bosses blocked inquiry into faulty Horizon IT system in 2010

and: “No 10’s director at Post Office resigns after bonus scandal

The Independent has picked on the comments of a recently widdowered Subpostmaster made via his barrister at the Inquiry:

Subpostmaster issues ‘see you in court’ promise as wife dies after bankruptcy

Better Retailing noted that the Post Office Minister, Kevin Hollinrake appears to be in favour of mutualising the Post Office network:

Post Office ‘mutualisation’ plan backed by minister

Karl Flinders at Computer Weekly has its own take on the Ismay report:

Post Office executive told to report false bill of health on controversial software

Money Week has written a summary of the scandal so far, bringing in the recent Bonusgate idiocy:

The Post Office Scandal: A shameful miscarriage of justice

and Nick Terdre at Hastings Times has very kindly written up my talk at The Pig in Hastings last week:

Wallis tells it like it is: the great Post Office scandal

Thanks again to everyone I met in Hastings. It was a great night.

Public scrutiny

Elsewhere, legal ethics expert Richard Moorhead has written a typically calm evisceration of Post Office exec Rod Ismay’s evidence to the Post Office Inquiry, plus he also marked the card of yet another lawyer hired by the Post Office, This one (now a Kings Counsel) seemed to be involved in briefing the Post Office board on how to reverse the burden of proof…!

Prof Moorhead’s substack newsletter is worth subscribing to, and it’s free.

The Business Committee has confirmed its public scrutiny session involving “senior figures” from the Post Office. The session is to discuss what Business Committee chair Darren Jones MP called potential “false accounting” in the Post Office annual report (more here). The session will take place after the Post Office’s internal review reports to the Secretary of State on 26 May. I am assured the review will immediately be made public. Can’t wait.

If you’re still stuck for reading matter, Phase 3 of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry finished today. The inquiry marked this by dumping 86 hitherto unseen witness statements onto its website.

TV drama

The long-awaited ITV drama about the Post Office scandal started filming this week. The cast is being announced tomorrow. I won’t break the embargo, but I will tell you the actor playing Alan Bates, founder of the Justice For Subpostmasters’ Alliance is a household name. It should guarantee the series is watched by a large number of people. It is currently slated to be screened early next year.

False Accounts is back!

Don’t forget the powerful satire written about the Post Office Scandal, False Accounts: Exposing the Post Office Cover Up, returns to the theatre on 31 May for a one week run.

It’s a phenomenally imaginative staging, and really works – with belly laughs and moments of pathos and tragedy. Do go and see it at the OSO Arts Centre in Barnes, West London. Tickets here.

Finally – if you have anything to tell me about the scandal – something you might have spotted that I am bound to have missed, trivia, or just want to get in touch – please hit reply to this email and it will go straight into my inbox. I can’t promise to respond to everything, and I am very much being distracted by The Other Thing at the moment, but I am grateful to anyone and everyone who bothers to get in touch. All correspondence is treated in absolute confidence.

Enjoy the weekend!


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.