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05th Jan 2024

Petition to strip ex-Post Office boss of CBE reaches over 400,000 signatures after ITV drama

JOE

Mr Bates vs The Post Office has caused outrage among viewers

The new ITV drama covers the events behind the Post Office scandal, which saw numerous postmasters wrongly prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 for theft, false accounting, and/or fraud after mysterious financial losses kept appearing in village post office tills.

What was really at fault, though, was their new computer system Horizon, which was faulty.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office follows the story of Alan Bates, who along with his partner Suzanne Sercombe in 1998, used life savings to buy a Post Office branch in Llandudno, North Wales.

When money went missing, Alan denied responsibility like other postmasters, leading to the Post Office ending their contract within three months and them losing their £65,000 investment.

Rather understandably, the show left viewers feeling ‘sickened’ about the miscarriage of justice.

A petition to strip Paula Vennells of her CBE has reached 430,000 signatures

In the wake of this, the real-life Bates has called for the Post Office’s CEO from 2012 to 2019, Paula Vennells, to be stripped of her CBE.

“I was offered an OBE but I’ve always said it’s not just about me. It’s about the whole group. But as far as myself goes I couldn’t accept it,” he told Good Morning Britain earlier this week.

“I mean it would have been a slap in the face to the rest of the group because Paula Vennells, the CEO for many years of Post Office, received a CBE for her services to Post Office. Well, what service has she actually done?

“She’s caused devastation to a major British institution that was at the heart of communities. She’s ruined thousands of lives over the years.”

He added: “What on earth has she done to deserve that? It should be taken away now!”

Following the fresh publicity around the scandal, a petition to strip Vennells of her CBE has reached over 430,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Although it was set up three years ago, and had only amassed 1000 signatures in that time, it has now ballooned following the ITV series.

The petition on 38 Degrees has a new target of 500,000, and it seems like that will soon be achieved by the rate at which it has been growing.

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