Only civil servant questions Post Office’s legal plan that wasted taxpayers’ money

During the High Court litigation battle between subpostmasters and the Post Office, a civil servant on the Post Office board revealed that he was the only one with concerns about the organization’s court strategy, which resulted in the waste of over £100m of taxpayers’ money. In 2018/19, subpostmasters successfully sued the Post Office after proving that the Horizon computer system caused accounting shortfalls for which they were wrongly blamed and punished. Tom Cooper, who was on the Post Office board at the time, criticized the handling of the litigation by the Post Office’s legal team, stating that they failed to concede important points raised by the claimants. He was particularly troubled by a liability clause in the subpostmasters’ contracts that he considered unfair and unethical. Despite a damning judgement by Judge Peter Fraser, the Post Office insisted on appealing the ruling, leading to further legal battles. Cooper expressed his discomfort with the Post Office’s decision to seek the recusal of Judge Fraser, which was ultimately rejected. The Post Office eventually settled with the subpostmasters in December 2019, leading to further investigations and financial redress for the victims. The scandal, first brought to light by Computer Weekly in 2009, is considered one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British history.

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