Vennells’ white woman tears sum up her rancid Post Office tenure

  • Post last modified:May 22, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

The ex-Post Office boss at the centre of the Horizon scandal broke down in white woman tears during the Public Inquiry into it. Paula Vennells sobbed as she admitted she lied to MPs – or as she said told them ‘untruths’ – but as one trade union summed up, her tears are too little, too late.

Post Office Horizon scandal: the inquiry continues

The former boss of Britain’s Post Office on Wednesday 22 May apologised to the hundreds of staff who were wrongly prosecuted because of faulty computer software, in one of the country’s worst miscarriages of justice. However, Vennells only apologised for what happened – not what she did.

More than 700 subpostmasters running small local post offices received criminal convictions between 1999 and 2015 after the faulty Horizon accounting software made it appear that money had gone missing from their branches.

Giving evidence to a public inquiry into the scandal, ex-chief executive Paula Vennells broke down in tears when recalling the case of one subpostmaster who took his own life after being wrongly accused of a £39,000 shortfall at his branch.

Vennells, an ordained Anglican priest, earlier read out a statement in which she said “how sorry I am for all that subpostmasters and their families and others have suffered as a result of all of the matters that the inquiry is looking into”.

Many ended up bankrupt and shunned by their communities. Some were jailed. At least four people took their own lives.

The High Court in London in 2019 ruled that it had been computer errors, not criminality, that had been behind the missing money.

Vennells give evidence

Vennells, whom many of the victims blame for their ordeal, said in January that she would hand back the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) honour given to her in 2018, as the public outcry mounted.

Being quizzed about her role in the scandal for the first time, Vennells, 65, told the inquiry that:

there was information I wasn’t given and others didn’t receive as well… One of my reflections of all of this — I was too trusting… My deep sorrow in this is that I think that individuals, myself included, made mistakes, didn’t see things, didn’t hear things.

The inquiry’s lawyer Jason Beer suggested to Vennells that she was unable to remember matters that could incriminate the Post Office, but had “no problem” recalling events that placed blame on others. In other words – she’s still lying.

“I don’t believe that’s the way I approach my statement at all,” she replied.

However, people on X disagreed.

White woman tears won’t wash, Vennells

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) were furious at Vennells, posting that her tears were “too late”:

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu wasn’t having her BS either:

White woman tears featured prominently:

And another X user summed up the situation well:

Vennells and other Post Office bosses are being accused of pursuing prosecutions against the subpostmasters despite knowing that there were issues with the IT system that introduced errors into the accounting figures of individual post office branches.

Featured image via the CWU

Additional reporting via Agence France-Presse

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