Lucy Allan repeatedly raised The Post Office Scandal in Parliament and fought for justice on behalf of her wrongfully convicted constituent Tracy Felstead. You can see Lucy's record of action in Parliament on the Post Office Horizon scandal here. The following article appears in the Telford Journal.
"The ITV drama, Mr Bates v The Post Office, has prompted constituents to get in touch to express outrage at the horrendous injustice suffered by sub postmasters.
The public inquiry is revealing the extent of the deeply shocking actions of The Post Office. It is clear that as the scandal accelerated the Post Office, Fujitsu and civil servants chose to protect themselves and each other, rather than admit the scale of wrongdoing. In the battle of David and Goliath, Government was on the side of the powerful right up until 2020. Long after the High Court had judged the Horizon system to have failed, ministers still were protecting the Post Office in Parliament, parroting whatever civil servants told them to say. Worse, Government permitted taxpayer money to fund the Post Office’s multi million pound legal defence in 2018/19, in what was a last ditch, costly attempt to silence postmasters and save The Post Office’s reputation.
I was one of a small group of backbench MPs who tried to get Government to tackle this injustice. We did succeed in getting a public inquiry and a compensation scheme. But no amount of compensation can put right these wrongs. Those responsible need to be prosecuted and held to account. There was collusion, as those in positions of power worked to protect their reputations with complete disregard for the ordinary men and women whose lives were destroyed.
As with the other public sector scandals I have worked on such as the SaTH Maternity Scandal and Telford’s Child Sexual Exploitation Scandal, the powerful show distain for scrutiny and accountability. There is a blind arrogance that sees cover up as justified because it protects an institution and its leaders. In a desperate attempt to avoid a CSE inquiry, we saw our own Telford Council leader mislead Government. Too often, Government fails to question or challenge a deliberately distorted narrative.
Justice has not yet been done for wronged sub postmasters. The fight for justice was made all the harder because the powerful see themselves as all being on the same side. They will do anything to stop people speaking up and exposing their failings. This is what makes Alan Bates' fight for justice so much more extraordinary and heroic. I so pleased that the ITV drama has place this issue front and centre in the public conciousness. Minister will now be able to stand up to those civil servants who enable this injustice to continue for so long.