Alan Bates, Post Office Whistleblower, Declines Another Settlement Proposal Amid Horizon IT Controversy

Posted by

Former subpostmaster and advocate Alan Bates has reportedly declined a second compensation proposal concerning the Horizon IT debacle.

Related posts

The most recent offer was just a third of his original request, the BBC reports, and Mr. Bates expressed to the broadcaster that it was “frustrating”.

Many subpostmasters are still awaiting adequate compensation after being wrongfully prosecuted by the Post Office and convicted between 1999 and 2015, due to glitches in Fujitsu’s Horizon system that falsely showed discrepancies in their branch’s finances.

Mr. Bates, who has been pursuing justice for two decades and inspired the ITV series Mr. Bates vs The Post Office, earlier rejected a “paltry” government offer that was merely a sixth of his claim.

At that time, officials from Downing Street acknowledged that the campaigner “merits the appropriate level of compensation” for his ordeal.

Regarding the recent proposal, Mr. Bates told the BBC, “It’s frustrating for me, frustrating for everyone.”

He referenced compensation statistics, noting around 300 cases remain unresolved, and remarked, “It’s just not moving quickly enough.

“People have wasted 20 years of their lives waiting, and we’ve lost about 70 people in the process.

“These hold-ups are causing numerous issues for the affected families.”

Mr. Bates mentioned he might need to “explore alternative methods to advance the compensation process,” as reported by the BBC.

The Post Office has been asked to respond.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business and Trade stated, “We honor the incredible advocacy that Alan has spearheaded and his relentless pursuit of justice for the countless innocent postmasters impacted by this scandal.

“We’ve disbursed £202 million to postmasters via three compensation programs. If claimants are dissatisfied, their cases can be reviewed by an independent panel comprising legal, medical, retail, and accounting professionals to ensure equitable compensation based on the evidence.”

The department has received 187 claims as of April 30, made offers on 173, and settled 141.

Mr. Bates’s contract with the Post Office was terminated in 2003 after he refused to assume responsibility for discrepancies in the accounts at his branch in Llandudno, North Wales.

The Horizon IT investigation revealed he first reported problems with the system in 2000, and on a single day in December that year, he contacted the Post Office helpline seven times, including one call that lasted about an hour.

In his testimony to the inquiry, Mr. Bates described the Post Office as “an atrocious organization” that was “beyond redemption” and required “dismantling.”

Share this:
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments