Marion Fellows – 2023 Speech on Post Office Horizon Compensation

The speech made by Marion Fellows, the SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, in the House of Commons on 23 March 2023.

I thank the Minister for his statement. Of course, I welcome what he outlined, and, as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on post offices, I am very grateful to him for keeping me updated.

We now have three streams for former postmasters and sub-postmasters who were affected by Horizon to claim compensation—that is really important. The Minister has talked about achieving parity, and I think he will agree that that must be done. I would be keen to for him come back to the House to tell us that it is happening and that the latest compensation scheme will not run out of time.

I think it worth mentioning again the hard work done by the JFSA, by journalists such as Nick Wallis, by Members of this House and by former Members who are now in the other place. They have all been of great help to the APPG. I came into the House not knowing anything about Horizon—I wish I did not know what I know now. I congratulate the Minister and his predecessor, the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Paul Scully), on grabbing hold of this matter and making things happen. So many people will be grateful.

Kevin Hollinrake

I thank the hon. Lady for her kind words and for all the work she does as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on post offices. She is right to say that there are three separate schemes, and there was probably a good reason for that at the time. It is not ideal to have three schemes, and Sir Wyn Williams referred to that in his comments, but we are all keen to see consistency across the three schemes. That is why I welcome the work of the advisory board, which will cover all three schemes to make sure there is consistency across them. I am determined to make sure that happens, and I will keep her fully informed on progress.