Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey apologises to victims of Post Office scandal

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has apologised to victims of the Post Office scandal as he accused the Government of using the scandal to attack political rivals (House of Commons/PA)
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has apologised to victims of the Post Office scandal as he accused the Government of using the scandal to attack political rivals (House of Commons/PA)

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has apologised to victims of the Post Office scandal as he accused the Government of using the scandal to attack political rivals.

Sir Ed has faced fresh scrutiny over his role as postal affairs minister in the coalition government, with the major miscarriage of justice in the spotlight thanks to an ITV drama.

Victims of the scandal that saw hundreds of subpostmasters convicted because of faulty accounting software have argued the MP has questions to answer.

He has also faced increased Conservative attacks about his ministerial role between 2010 and 2012.

Writing in The Guardian on Thursday, Sir Ed said he is “deeply sorry” for the families who have had their lives ruined by “the greatest miscarriage of justice in our time”.

“As one of the ministers over the 20 years of this scandal, including my time as minister responsible for postal affairs, I’m sorry I did not see through the Post Office’s lies – and that it took me five months to meet Alan Bates, the man who has done so much to uncover it,” he said.

He said that the Post Office gave him “categorical assurances” about Horizon, which were “lies”.

“The Post Office is owned by the Government but not run by it, so the official advice I was given when I first became a minister in May 2010 was not to meet Bates,” he said.

“He wrote again urging me to reconsider, and I did then meet him that October. But he shouldn’t have had to wait.

Post Office Horizon IT scandal
Sir Ed said the official advice he was given when he first became a minister in May 2010 was not to meet Alan Bates, pictured, who led the subpostmasters’ campaign for justice (House of Commons/PA)

“When Bates told me his concerns about Horizon, I took them extremely seriously and put them to the Post Office.

“What I got back were categorical assurances – the same lies we now know they were telling the subpostmasters, journalists, Parliament and the courts.”

He said that the incident was an opportunity to make “big systemic changes” that would prevent something like the scandal from ever happening again.

However, he said that this opportunity was being missed, with the Government instead using the scandal to deflect criticism from themselves and onto political rivals instead.

“Over the past decade we have seen this form of politics gaining momentum,” he said.

“The Trumpification on the right of the Conservative party. The mindless attacks from some dutiful Tory columnists. The paid ads spreading disinformation and fake news.

“The subpostmasters deserve far better. That starts with overturning their convictions now – more than four years after the high court exonerated them – and properly compensating them quickly – not leaving it to the Post Office’s complicated, slow and inadequate schemes.”