Today’s news summary – Paper Talk: Post Office scandal payout – reaction
Thursday’s front pages report on the news that the government will introduce legislation to overturn the convictions of hundreds of victims of the Post Office scandal.
Post Office scandal continues
The Sun declares it a “first-class result,” the Daily Express hails it as “justice,” and the Times refers to it as “deliverance for postmasters.” The Financial Times and the Guardian both describe the move to exonerate and compensate those affected as “unprecedented,” with senior lawyers viewing the government’s actions as “constitutionally extraordinary,” according to the Guardian. The Times expresses concerns that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s blanket fix for the debacle is unsettling leading lawyers.
The Daily Mail reports a brewing dispute over the proposed £75,000 compensation for victims who were never convicted but were forced to repay money that was never missing. Jo Hamilton criticises the deal, stating it reflects the prime minister’s being “completely out of touch,” while the Daily Mirror quotes campaigner Alan Bates, who believes the payout falls short and cannot adequately compensate for the victims’ suffering.
The Daily Telegraph leads with revelations that Post Office investigators received cash bonuses to secure prosecutions.
Bates, cited in the article, points to this practice as indicative of the “horrendous culture” within the organisation. The Post Office confirms to the Telegraph that the bonus scheme is under investigation by the public inquiry into the scandal.
The i reports on growing pressure to penalise the firm involved in the Post Office scandal, with some MPs calling for a halt in government contracts awarded to Fujitsu. An unnamed senior minister expresses surprise that the Post Office hasn’t sued Fujitsu already, according to the i. The Daily Mail raises questions about Fujitsu experts’ knowledge of glitches and whether they ignored them as victims faced imprisonment.