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Post Office IT scandal campaigners’ dismay as few MPs attend debate

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Campaigners have criticised the poor turnout by MPs to a Commons ministerial statement on the Post Office IT scandal.

Around 16 MPs turned up for the Westminster session rather then the current maximum of 50 under Covid restrictions, with a further 30 dialling in remotely.

It came days after the Court of Appeal overturned the convictions of 39 former sub-postmasters after one of Britain’s biggest miscarriages of justice. More than 700 people were prosecuted based on evidence from a faulty IT system.

Minister for Postal Services Paul Scully last Tuesday made a ministerial statement to the Commons. But campaigners said that the turnout was deeply disappointing.

Former sub-postmaster Christopher Head said: “We should have seen every single MP in the chamber or online for this scandal. It involved hundreds of constituents.

Former sub-postmaster Phil Cowan, whose partner Fiona died in an accidental overdose after being falsely accused, said: “We are all dismayed at the lack of turnout. I can only assume there may be those who consider it ‘job done’ with the 39 overturned convictions on Friday – which was absolutely fantastic but is only a stepping stone toward conclusion.”

Kilmarnock and Loudon MP Alan Brown was the only Scottish MP to turn up – though three others asked questions virtually.

He said: “It would have been good if more MPs attended. More could have attended online.

“I would definitely like to see a larger attendance because Post Office victims came from constituencies throughout the UK.”