Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells is to hand back her CBE following the fallout of the Horizon IT scandal which led to the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of subpostmasters.
The former chief executive, who ran the Post Office while it routinely denied there was a problem with its Horizon IT system, was appointed a CBE in December 2018.
In a statement, Ms Vennells said: “I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the Inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence.
“I am, however, aware of the calls from subpostmasters and others to return my CBE. I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.
“I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.”
It comes after demands for her to return the honour intensified after an ITV drama returned the widespread miscarriage of justice to the spotlight and a petition to see her lose the honour attracted more than 1.2 million signatures.
A Little Thought:
This is very much a hollow gesture and it is a pity that it took 1.2 million petitioners to force her hand.
If she was listening to people it would have been handed back many years ago as there have been calls for such, for many years.
It is only now that she is more in the public eye following the series on ITV that her hand has been forced.
It's peacemeal when looking at the bigger picture of this scandal but a move in the right direction.