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Friday, March 1, 2024

Enterprise Secretary Kemi Badenoch hints there may very well be MORE sackings on the Put up Workplace after boss Henry Staunton was ousted 'amid row over compensation scheme for wrongly accused ex-postmasters'


Kemi Badenoch has hinted there may very well be extra sackings on the Put up Workplace after former chairman Henry Staunton was sacked following a row with the federal government over the Horizon scandal.

Mr Staunton, who had been within the £150,000-a-year-role for a little bit over a 12 months, obtained a name from the Enterprise Secretary yesterday afternoon by which she advised him he would get replaced.

They agreed to ‘half methods with mutual consent’ and an interim will likely be appointed ‘shortly’, the Division for Enterprise and Commerce stated.

Ms Badenoch has not dominated out extra folks being faraway from their posts on the scandal-hit Put up Workplace.

Requested on Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips whether or not there will likely be additional resignations from the board of administrators, she stated: ‘I will not be making any additional feedback round personnel modifications. I believe we have to do that in a civilised method.’

The chairman of the Put up Workplace, Henry Staunton, was sacked yesterday following a row with the federal government over the Horizon scandal

Staunton received a call from Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch in which she told him he would be replaced

Staunton obtained a name from Enterprise Secretary Kemi Badenoch by which she advised him he would get replaced

There had been rigidity between Mr Staunton and the federal government over plans to power by means of laws to compensate the wrongly convicted sub-postmasters rapidly, The Sun stories.

Tons of of subpostmasters are awaiting compensation regardless of the Authorities saying that those that have had convictions quashed are eligible for £600,000 payouts. 

Ms Badenoch stated at present: ‘It simply wasn’t working’ when requested why Henry Staunton couldn’t keep it up as chairman of the Put up Workplace.

Chatting with BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme and requested about what her considerations have been over Mr Staunton as chairman of the Put up Workplace, Ms Badenoch stated in taking on her position she was centered on three issues: ‘get the cash out of the door’, ‘ensuring that it was truthful’, and ‘trying on the governance across the Put up Workplace’.

On the latter, she stated: ‘That’s the place my deciding that we would have liked a brand new chair of the organisation was necessary. It simply wasn’t working.’

She added: ‘There have been numerous disagreements throughout the board. And after I checked out it I believed {that a} change of personnel was what was required.

‘I do not wish to do HR on stay TV, these are human beings that we’re speaking about. It is extremely tough to be requested to face down from a place.

‘However I made a decision that given the entire difficulties the Put up Workplace is having, it isn’t nearly Horizon, it is about all the enterprise mannequin, how we make it work, that we would have liked somebody who may chair a board that was capable of cope with these items successfully.’

Mr Staunton solely took up the submit on the state-owned firm in December 2022, following 9 years as chairman of WH Smith.

Ms Badenoch stated yesterday she ‘felt there was a necessity for brand spanking new management’ on the Put up Workplace because it was introduced outgoing chairman Henry Staunton was stepping down.

The Enterprise Secretary stated: ‘The Put up Workplace is rightfully below a heightened degree of scrutiny presently. With that in thoughts, I felt there was a necessity for brand spanking new management, and we’ve got parted methods with mutual consent.’

One insider is claimed to have claimed there have been a lot of tensions between the Put up Workplace chairman and the federal government in latest months. 

The seek for a brand new chairman will come as the federal government goals to power by means of laws that can compensate a whole lot of sub-postmasters who have been wrongly convicted of offences equivalent to fraud. 

The federal government is believed to wish to give the position to a Whitehall insider in a bid to strengthen the Put up Workplace’s company governance. 

Evaluation by The Mail on Sunday of 101 taxpayer-funded contracts reveals that greater than 40 authorities departments, quangos and native councils have collectively struck £2 billion value of offers with Fujitsu – even after a Excessive Court docket ruling that its Put up Workplace software program was riddled with bugs.

Ms Badenoch said she 'felt there was a need for new leadership' at the Post Office as it was announced outgoing chairman Henry Staunton was stepping down

Ms Badenoch stated she ‘felt there was a necessity for brand spanking new management’ on the Put up Workplace because it was introduced outgoing chairman Henry Staunton was stepping down 

The Horizon scandal took place between 1999 and 2015 when the Post Office wrongly prosecuted 700 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses for incorrect data provided by the computer system

The Horizon scandal befell between 1999 and 2015 when the Put up Workplace wrongly prosecuted 700 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses for incorrect knowledge supplied by the pc system

Since December 2019, when Mr Justice Fraser discovered that ‘bugs errors and defects’ posed a ‘vital and materials danger’ to sub-post workplaces, its software program packages have been snapped up throughout the general public sector.

And Kemi Badenoch stated she ‘actually’ expects Fujitsu to pay compensation over the Horizon IT scandal.

The Enterprise Secretary stated she had written to the chairman of the corporate asking for conferences however he’s primarily based in Japan, so ‘it isn’t that easy’.

She advised Sky Information’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips: ‘I actually anticipate that that can occur sooner or later … Beforehand we have been ready until the top of the inquiry and it’s important that we get to the top of that inquiry to know what ought to occur.

‘However Fujitsu is part of this, they’re very a lot part of this story, it isn’t simply Put up Workplace administration, and I hope that they are going to do the correct factor.’

The Horizon scandal befell between 1999 and 2015 when the Put up Workplace wrongly prosecuted 700 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses for incorrect knowledge supplied by the pc system – or one per week.

Whereas the general public inquiry into the scandal has been ongoing since February 2021, it returned to the headlines this 12 months attributable to a success ITV dramatisation of the scandal – Mr Bates vs the Put up Workplace.

The drama starred Toby Jones because the titular character Alan Bates, the previous postmaster who instigated the courtroom case that led to the ruling that the scandal was a miscarriage of justice.

Tons of of subpostmasters are awaiting compensation regardless of the Authorities saying that those that have had convictions quashed are eligible for £600,000 payouts.

Mr Staunton’s departure comes amid frustration in Whitehall over the corporate’s governance, together with a row over the possible appointment of a brand new senior impartial director, Sky Information reported.

The Authorities reportedly desires to rent a Whitehall insider to the position whereas Mr Staunton and a lot of colleagues are stated to have favoured Andrew Darfoor, one of many firm’s present non-executive administrators.

Insiders advised the outlet that Mr Staunton’s exit was circuitously associated to the Horizon scandal itself.

A Authorities spokesperson stated yesterday: ‘In a telephone name earlier at present, the Secretary of State for Enterprise and Commerce and Henry Staunton, chair of Put up Workplace Restricted (POL), agreed to half methods with mutual consent.

‘An interim will likely be appointed shortly and a recruitment course of for a brand new chair will likely be launched sooner or later, in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.’



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