I have received the enclosed letter regarding the settlement funds for Postmasters:
Approval of Funds for Full & Final Settlement for Postmasters with Overturned Criminal Convictions
This House is aware of the distressing impact that problems with the Post Office’s Horizon IT system have had on the lives and livelihoods of many postmasters.
The Court of Appeal handed down a landmark judgment on 23 April 2021 which quashed the convictions of 39 postmasters whose prosecution had relied on Horizon evidence. 72 convictions have now been quashed to date, and several others are in progress. There are potentially hundreds more postmasters whose convictions have relied on Horizon evidence and may seek to have their convictions quashed.
We want to see these postmasters with quashed convictions compensated fairly and swiftly. So far, the vast majority of postmasters who have had their convictions quashed have each received an interim compensation payment of up to £100,000 while they wait for the next steps in the proceedings.
I am pleased to confirm that today the Government is making funding available to facilitate Post Office to make final compensation payments to postmasters whose convictions have been overturned. We are 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, Government is helping Post Office deliver the fair compensation postmasters deserve.
With the Secretary of State’s status as sole shareholder in the Post Office, my Department continues to engage actively with Post Office Limited on this and will maintain strong oversight of the compensation process.