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Thomson urges UK Govt to call-in Fujitsu’s ‘moral obligation’ over Horizon scandal

By David Porter

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Gordon MP Richard Thomson has urged the UK Government to call-in Fujitsu’s offer to contribute towards the compensation arrangements for sub-postmasters affected by the Horizon scandal.

Gordon MP Richard Thomson
Gordon MP Richard Thomson

The SNP MP was speaking during an Urgent Question on the Post Office scandal secured by the Chair of the All-Party Group on Post Offices and SNP MP for Motherwell, Marion Fellows.

Questioning the Minister, Richard Thomson MP said: “Surely if ever there was a time to consider removing [Henry] Staunton as Chair of the Post Office, it was after it emerged last year that bonuses were being paid to Post Office executives simply for doing what I think we would all expect them to: co-operating fully with the Horizon inquiry.

“Fujitsu’s representatives told the Business and Trade Committee a fortnight ago that Fujitsu had a “moral obligation” to contribute to the financial redress for the victims.

"Has the Secretary of State had any discussions yet with Fujitsu about how and when that might happen, as well as about the size of the contribution that it might make?

"Secondly, with regard to the continued unexplained shortfalls in Horizon, will the Government commit to revealing how much in excess the Post Office claimed back from staff, resorting to forensic accountancy if required?”

Commenting afterwards, Mr Thomson said: “Fujitsu has benefitted from many government IT contracts over the years, not least of which was the Post Office Horizon system.

“The company have now recognised that they have a role to play in putting right – or at least providing redress – for those who were so poorly treated over many years in this whole debacle.

"It is time for the UK Government to tell Fujitsu that it will be calling-in that obligation and that the public expects the company to bear the responsibility for the part it played in getting to this position.

“Of course, the Inquiry is ongoing and there is more to be revealed and we need all the facts to be placed in front of us. That should not preclude early discussions around how Fujitsu can play its part in moving matters forward to a better place.”

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