Secret email about the Post Office Scandal. Shh!

“there is FFFFiiinnn no ‘Case for the Justice of Thieving Subpostmasters’”. A Post Office Investigator Writes…

plus: Altman’s Altamont

Gary Thomas giving evidence at the Inquiry

Hi everyone

I was hoping to write a piece about Gary Thomas’s evidence to the Post Office Inquiry on Thursday but events have rather overtaken me. I started the week with very little work on (just a day shift at ITV News on Friday), but then I got two days at 5 News and the Sunday Times came calling.

Thankfully, plenty of diligent people have been putting a shift in, and I am delighted that Karl Flinders wrote up Thomas’s evidence in his piece “Former Post Office investigator called subpostmaster campaigners ‘crooks’”

I watched and read Thomas’s evidence, and he did his level best to come across as a reasonable bloke, but the contemporaneous documents reveal a different mindset. The quote which forms the title to this newsletter comes from one of Thomas’s emails to his colleagues. Do read Karl’s piece.

Singh when you’re…

John Hyde at the Law Society Gazette has written up some of the key quotes from Jarnail Singh’s evidence to the Inquiry last week in a piece called “‘Dereliction of your duties’: Post Office solicitor lambasted over conduct”. If you want you can have a look at my take on Singh’s evidence here, and it may not surprise you to read he features heavily in tomorrow’s Sunday Times piece.

Rosie and Tony

Rosie Brocklehurst has written a wider summary of the current state of play for the magazine Labour Hub called “A Dickensian Post Office Ltd” and I’m delighted Tony Collins has returned to the fray with a preview of Mr Bates vs The Post Office called “Deeply affecting – ITV drama series on Post Office IT scandal may lodge in the national psyche”. Mr Collins has the distinction of being the person who commissioned m’podcast colleague Rebecca Thomson to write the first ever piece of journalism about the Post Office Horizon Scandal, an investigation which features heavily in Mr Bates…

Incidentally, Rebecca and I are hoping to get a special podcast episode out before Christmas, but I won’t say much more in case it doesn’t happen.

Altman’s Altamont

Big Bri

Richard Moorhead noted a throwaway (and inaccurate) line in last week’s Sunday Times in a piece about Boris Johnson’s legal representation at the COVID inquiry. It is none other than Brian Altman KC, about whom Moorhead has written extensively in the past. The Sunday Times piece, by Tim Shipman, read:

“Johnson has had the best help taxpayers’ money can buy. His KC, Brian Altman, is described by the Legal 500 guide to the best lawyers as “the heavyweight champion of the inquiry world – a brilliant operator”. Altman’s most recent success was helping to exonerate dozens of sub-postmasters who had been wrongfully convicted.”

Hmm. Moorhead has written an elegant demolition of both Altman’s alleged genius and his “success” in “helping exonerate” Subpostmasters. The online version of the Sunday Times article has subsequently been changed to state:

“Altman recently represented the Post Office in the Court of Appeal when the convictions of 39 sub-postmasters were quashed.”

We all make mistakes. And as someone who has a piece in the same newspaper tomorrow, I sincerely hope I have not ****ed anything up or I am going to look very silly drawing attention to the above.

Going for Gould

Nick Gould, a solicitor working for Aria Grace law, has written a letter to the new President of the Law Society, Nick Emmerson, about the Post Office scandal and the failures of lawyers. You can read it on LinkedIn here. Nick posted the letter “several weeks” ago and tells me he has yet to receive an acknowledgment, let alone a substantive reply.


I am thrilled, delighted and embarrassed by the number of new subscribers who have joined the secret emailers in recent days. Embarrassed because I have not produced any original journalism this week. For this I apologise, but I have hopefully been of some service in collating the excellent work of others above.

Thanks to everyone who has contacted me, alerting me to key evidence coming out of the Inquiry. It is exceptionally useful. All you have to do if you want to get in touch is hit reply to this email. All correspondence is treated in the strictest confidence.

Have yourselves a wonderful weekend. It looks like I am off to see Brighton vs Burnley in the rain at the Amex stadium this afternoon. Sussex-by-the-Sea and all that…



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