The MP for North Cornwall has reacted to the planned exoneration and compensation for Post Office sub-masters and staff wrongfully convicted as part of the Post Office Horizon accounting scandal.

It was announced by the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, that the government intends to bring in a new law to “swiftly exonerate and compensate victims of the scandal”, a subject which was recently brought to light again in the ITV drama “Mr Bates vs the Post Office”.

The Prime Minister said that in the plans, victims will be able to sign a form stating they are innocent in order to have their convictions overturned and enable them to claim compensation.

He also announced that 555 former postmasters who had brought a group lawsuit against the Post Office will be offered an up-front payment of £75,000, with a spokesperson adding that the convictions of victims should be overturned by the end of 2024.

Scott Mann opening a new post office facility
Scott Mann opening a new post office facility (Scott Mann)

Approximately 700 branch managers across the United Kingdom were given criminal convictions, of which only 93 have successfully overturned their sentences thus far.

Now, Scott Mann, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall, who prior to becoming a member of parliament was a postman working for Royal Mail has reacted to the announcement by the Prime Minister.

Mr Mann said that during his time as a postman, he recalled seeing Post Office managers in tears because they couldn’t balance the tills – which it later transpired was due to known deficiencies with the Horizon software built by Fujitsu.

He added that his thoughts were with the victims of the scandal.

Scott Mann, the MP for North Cornwall, said: "As a postman before I was a Member of Parliament, I was around many of North Cornwall's Post Offices when this scandal happened. I remember seeing Postmasters and Postmistresses in tears because they couldn't balance the tills. It seemed to be pretty obvious there was a big problem.

"The ministers responsible for overseeing the service weren't picking up on it at the time. I am pleased that a historic injustice looks on the verge of being rectified, but my heart goes out to the hundreds of Postmasters and Postmistresses across the country, including here in North Cornwall, who lost years of their lives to this utterly scandalous miscarriage of justice, and the representational damage that was done to them which they have lived with for years."