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    Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted 

    (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

    The Post Office campaigner Alan Bates has been knighted in the king’s birthday honours in recognition of his role in exposing the Horizon IT scandal, often described as one of the worst miscarriages of justice in British history.

    The former post office operator and founder of the Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance said he was accepting the honour “on behalf of the group” of branch operators and the “horrendous things that had happened to them.”

    Between 1999 and 2015, more than 700 post office branch managers were wrongly handed criminal convictions after faulty Horizon accounting software made it appear as though money was missing from their outlets.

    Bates’ tireless campaign, highlighted in the ITV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office, led to an uproar among public, media and politician like leading to mass quashing of hundreds of convictions.

    Reacting to the honour, Bates said, “I think it’s another string to my bow to try and drive the rest of the campaign home. We have got to get funding for everybody. And that’s been my priority now for some time. And if it helps there, then great. It’s wonderful.”

    He added that his work was far from finished, adding that he would pursue court action, if necessary, to get financial redress for the victims who took part in the original High Court action that helped expose the Horizon IT scandal.

    “I think the nation will support us if we have to go ahead with another case,” he said.

    For the last 15 years, he has campaigned for justice for hundreds of sub-postmasters who were wrongfully prosecuted for theft and false accounting, when faulty software called Horizon made it look like money was missing from their accounts.

    “We have all seen the horror stories, and there are so many. I keep hearing from so many more these days who are coming out of the woodwork and stories that have never been told. I mean, they’re absolutely diabolical.

    “What’s happened to people is very sad but at least they’re now starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel for themselves,” BBC quotes Bates as saying.

    The former sub post master had already rejected the offer of an OBE last year, telling the Honours Committee that it would be inappropriate to accept it whilst Paula Vennells kept hold of her CBE for services to the Post Office while many victims continued to suffer.

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