Former West Boldon postmaster boycotts Government review into Post Office Horizon row

An ex-postmaster who is fighting justice for those caught up in the Post Office Horizon row is boycotting a Government review into what happened.
Former West Boldon postmaster and campaigner, Christopher Head, will not cooperate in a Government review into the Post Office Horizon row.Former West Boldon postmaster and campaigner, Christopher Head, will not cooperate in a Government review into the Post Office Horizon row.
Former West Boldon postmaster and campaigner, Christopher Head, will not cooperate in a Government review into the Post Office Horizon row.

In December 2019 he was one of 550 in the Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance, who won their case against the company in a £58 million settlement (£46 million of which is said to have gone to cover the legal costs of the action).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Mr Head, now 32, who claims to have lost £100,000 as a result of flaws in the Horizon IT system has called for an independent inquiry to hold those responsible to account.

His petition, which gathered more than 5,000 signatures, was handed into Downing Street before the lockdown was imposed in March.

This week, Business Minister Paul Scully committed to carrying out an independent review into the Post Office, to consider whether it has “learned the necessary lessons” from the case.

But Mr Head said the Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance will not be cooperating in the review, and will not settle for “anything less” than the judge-led inquiry that has been called for.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to agree to an inquiry in parliament on February 24, when he promised to “get to the bottom of the scandal” in response to questions from Ms Osborne.

“I’ve been fighting for this every day of my life for the last three years and I won’t settle for anything less than what was promised,” said Mr head.

“There has to be an independent inquiry and someone has to be held accountable.”

"It’s not just about me, it’s for everybody involved, some people were affected a lot worse than I was.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Postmasters sit on huge losses, we have no businesses, no livelihoods, reputational damage, illnesses, mental health issues and some even lost their lives.”

Read More
Former West Boldon postmaster who lost £100,000 in Horizon Post Office debacle c...

In response to further questioning in parliament on Wednesday, June 10 the Business Minister insisted that a review would “get to the bottom” of it, he said: “The terms of reference of this independent review are wide enough and deep enough to get to the bottom of what happened. An independent judge has already looked at this and built up a body of evidence and other views, which will be then be looked at as a complement to the review.”

The Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance are currently attempting to raise £98,000 in order fund legal representation to take their complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

Mr Head added: “It’s going to be put on the back burner because of coronavirus and we understand that it is affecting everyone, but people have waited 20 years already, some of them might not be around to see justice at this rate.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Jarrow MP commented: “A review is welcome news, but it must hold those responsible to account and justice must be served to those who have been impacted during this scandal.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.