Former Post Office Hatchet Man gives himself the chop

Aujard giving evidence yesterday

Chris Aujard answered questions at the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry yesterday. The day before, he resigned as General Counsel for five separate companies, and the day before that, he chucked it in at another.

etc etc

Is it mere coincidence he ceased to be an active director of any UK company within 48 hours of giving evidence at the Inquiry? Perhaps we should be told. FNZ’s insurers almost certainly were.

Aujard’s former employers, FNZ Wealth (and its various subsidiaries) and iProtect Technologies also appear to have scrubbed any mention of Aujard from their websites. Though FNZ does maintain some delightful guff about its culture.

I am grateful to an anonymous correspondent for the tip off.

Can someone get in touch and tell me what they think is likely to be going on?

I am currently touring Post Office Scandal – the Inside Story. Please do come and see us as we make our way around the country (all dates here).

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19 responses to “Former Post Office Hatchet Man gives himself the chop”

  1. Interesting that his witness statement doesn’t mention FNZ in employment history. Feels like they’ve done a deal about him never mentioning them by association … standard term in employment contract not to bring them into disrepute, which anyone associated w these people could argue (PV – Imperial NHS and AvdeB Welsh ⚽️ 🏉)??

  2. Great stuff. Keep up the good work.

  3. This may be something or nothing, but seeing as the CPS are allegedly watching proceedings closely, I am wondering if companies are going to start severing ties with anyone, particularly Directors, called to the hearings, whose involvement and compotence has been called into question and may face charges at a later date? With what is coming out at the Enquiry, there have been a number of people whose association with a Company would hardly count as a ringing recommendation for that Business, so could see the Company getting shot of them at the earliest opportunity.

  4. Thank-you for your analysis and comment on the PO inquiry. Very helpful..
    I have found it impossible to subscribe for a secret email. The great difficulty was the PayPal picture puzzle.
    I thought you might like to know this

    1. Sorry to say, I have also experienced problems trying to donate. System says you can do so without using paypal but then unfortunately takes you through paypal sign-up before ultimately failing. Can we have a separate, simple, card donation button of some sort?

      1. Hi Graham thanks for this message and your email. It is possible to donate by card without using PayPal when you get to the payment button, below the massive PayPal button, there is a button, depending on which screen and browser you are using you may have to scroll down. But don’t worry about it, I’m grateful to you for bothering to attempt. Nick

  5. Warren Simmons avatar

    Don’t forget that Jane Macleod and Piero D’Agostini followed Aujard into FNZ.

    As for FNZ – it is a super discrete NZ entity. One opencorporate-type website in NZ does produce a nice graph of FNZ companies and their links. However, the closest you get to seeing who owns FNZ is a determination by the NZ body that oversees any disposal of land in which Maori people have property interests. FNZ transferred ownership of such land in 2022/2023 and the NZ body reviewed who were the UBOs. It is worth looking at. Apart from that it is super low-key.

  6. Full disclosure! Subpostmasters and their families have been subjected to intrusive and emotionally damaging inquiries into their personal finances. Surely, in the interests of ‘balance’ the time has come for disclosure, by all senior managers and Board members of POL, of their financial circumstances? How much were they earning from POL? How much money was being paid by POL in bonuses? How much contributed to their pensions? How much were they earning from other personal ‘enterprises’, other board positions. Time for a league table of POL fat-cats.

    1. Yes, I agree with all of that!

    2. Arthur Cummins avatar

      Absolutely, a full disclosure would be very informative…

  7. Watching the proceedings on live TV today reminds me of a Peter Gabriel song, “Self Control”, from 1980 and with this chorus line:

    “ I don’t remember, I don’t recall
    I got no memory of anything at all
    I don’t remember, I don’t recall
    I got no memory of anything, anything at all”

    1. Richard Maida Jimenez avatar
      Richard Maida Jimenez

      Correct PG album, but wrong song. The chorus is from the song I Don’t Remember and yes I agree it is very appropriate.

  8. The more this enquiry continues the more you realise what a really “grubby” or “shabby” lot the upper management of the PO was, who destroyed 1,000s of peoples lives through total incompetence, arrogance and any ethics. They lacked any compassion for their employees.

    Unfortunately this PO scandal is symptomatic of the systemic failure in British Government, Politics, Institutions and Corporations.

  9. My feelings of sadness for the SPMs deepens as this continues. That some who’ve won their cases still have to fight to get appropriate compensation is also sad.

    I know someone who spent thirty years in one job, and accumulated a pension pot of £4.5m over that period. Ignoring notions of whether, or not, morally, a pension pot ought to develop a value averaging £150k per year (an amount greater, per year, than the guy’s average salary over that period… it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that an astute SPM could have accumulated a similarly large sum (proportionate to his average income) in his pension pot, had his career not been truncated illegitimately by circumstances such as are being described.

    It’s difficult to look at individual cases and say “You would have invested astutely, whereas we don’t think (another) “you” would… It can’t be done, and the compensation decisions ought to err on the side of generosity…

    I read, recently, that the Post Office considered grabbing SPOs’ pension funds to recover costs. Assuming that’s true, perhaps Vennells’ (and others) pension funds ought to be used to pay towards compensation. And compensation payments ought to be made soon, before the older victims die off, and in the cases of those who do die, their beneficiaries ought to receive the payments, perhaps after inheritance tax is deducted (I’m thinkng the amounts will be greater than IH threshold…)

  10. My countryman, this Aujard cobber, could well benefit from deployment of a Deed Poll.

  11. No insight into this, Nick, but Aujard’s resignations did occur on St George’s Day and so some form of English natural justice was going on here!

    Very interesting your further observations that the Inquiry didn’t challenge Aujard as to why he couldn’t see beyond his day-to-day in-tray which is a complete abrogation of duty for any senior manager. This also applies to every member of the judiciary that was involved in the errant prosecutions. I note that it was not the excellent Jason Beer who missed the opportunity to skewer Aujard. Let’s hope every witness henceforth (don’t you hate the Americanism “going forward”?!!) will be challenged in this way.

    Keep up the good work and I hope your arm is healing well.

    Best regards


    1. Also the now often used term…”reaching out.” Ugh!

  12. Sytske Casimir avatar

    I’m watching his testimonial at the moment. I was curious to compare him to Crichton. I don’t think you were too hard on her – I do think you were kind to him. I hear incompetence, disinterest and blaming others – he does so very. cerverly without emotion.. which is why he most likely comes across better than Crichton who showed more emotion. Also he looks to me like he wouldn’t have had any chance of turning things around. The thing that’s so infuriating with Crichton is that she could actually have turned things around and she had every reason to do so given she actually realised what was going on in the end.

    My hypothesis would be that his previous employers had a good conversation with him about what he was going to say – figured it wouldn’t sound good and offered him the option to resign… alternatively he was ethical realising that it wouldn’t look good for anyone to be connected to him after his evidence and decided to resign himself …

  13. Following my posting on Wednesday.
    I have listened to Aujard’s

    He did not receive a handover from the outgoing General Counsel, Susan Crichton.

    I assume Paula Venells played a part in this ommission.

    Did the Board have any say?

    This is a serious failing in Governance.

    Aujard clearly would have benefited from just 5 minutes of Susan Crichton’s time.

    I do hope Paula Venells is drilled and quizzed on this point.

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