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    Government promises funding for final compensation in overturned Horizon convictions

    (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

    The government today confirmed funding to facilitate Post Office to make final compensation payments to postmasters whose convictions have been overturned in cases related to the Horizon scandal.

    Making a statement in the parliament, Small Business Minister Paul Scully said the government is working with Post Office to finalise the arrangements that will enable the final settlement negotiations to begin as soon as possible.

    “By providing this funding, [the] government is helping Post Office deliver the fair compensation postmasters deserve,” he said.

    Scully added that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, being the sole shareholder in the Post Office, will “maintain strong oversight of the compensation process.”

    Welcoming the announcement, Post Office said interim payments of up to £100,000 have been provided for the majority of people affected, following earlier government funding support in July. These payments continue to be offered as further convictions are overturned.

    Appeals against convictions in historical Post Office prosecutions began following the Horizon Issues Judgment by the High Court in group civil litigation in 2019. To date 72 convictions have been overturned in appeals and several others are in progress.

    “Whilst we cannot change the past, it is right that meaningful compensation is provided to victims of the Horizon scandal as fast as possible,” Nick Read, Post Office chief executive, said.

    “Many former postmasters have waited a long time for justice and Post Office welcomes the government’s announcement that funding is being made available for compensation that recognises the impact on the lives of those affected.”

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