HomePoliticsLabour PartyKeir Starmer Slams Tory MPs For Heckling During Horizon Scandal Grilling

Keir Starmer Slams Tory MPs For Heckling During Horizon Scandal Grilling

Many workers received criminal records, faced community service, wore electronic tags, or even served jail time.

In a recent clash during PMQs, Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, criticized Tory MPs for heckling and urged them to “have some respect” for the victims of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal.

The incident occurred when Starmer read out the words of one of the victims, highlighting the lack of transparency and the shroud of secrecy surrounding the scandal.

The Horizon IT scandal, which took place between 2000 and 2015, involved hundreds of Post Office workers being wrongly accused of fraud based on faulty data from the Fujitsu computer system.

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Many workers received criminal records, faced community service, wore electronic tags, or even served jail time.

During the PMQs clash, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, refused to repeat the claim made by Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, that the ex-chairman of the Post Office had lied about being asked to delay compensation payments.

Henry Staunton, who spoke to The Sunday Times, asserted that a senior civil servant had asked him to stall the payouts for the Tories to save money and “limp” to the election. Badenoch vehemently denied the accusation, labelling it as “full of lies.”

However, The Times obtained a contemporaneous note written by Staunton, which documented a conversation with Sarah Munby, the then-permanent secretary at the business department. The note appears to support Staunton’s claim, adding weight to the allegations.

When Starmer asked the prime minister, Boris Johnson, if he was willing to personally repeat the allegation of lying, Johnson notably avoided doing so. Instead, Sunak stated that the government had taken “unprecedented steps” to ensure that the victims of the Horizon scandal receive compensation swiftly and in full.

During this exchange, as Keir Starmer read out the words of one of the victims, he was repeatedly heckled by Tory backbenchers. In response, Starmer addressed the hecklers, urging them to show respect for the victims.

He reminded them that the words he was reading were those of someone who had suffered due to the scandal, emphasizing the need for empathy and understanding.

Staunton’s note revealed that Munby had informed him that the Post Office needed to “hobble” to the election and avoid “ripping off” the financial “band-aid.” Staunton initially recalled the word “limp” being used instead of “hobble,” but the meaning remains the same.

The Horizon IT scandal has had a lasting impact on the lives of many innocent Post Office workers who were wrongly accused. The lack of transparency and the alleged attempts to delay compensation payments have only added to their suffering.

The government must take swift action to address the injustices faced by the victims and ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve. The focus should be on rectifying the mistakes of the past and providing support to those affected, rather than engaging in partisan heckling and deflecting from the issue at hand.

As the investigation into the Horizon scandal continues, it is imperative that the truth is uncovered and justice is served. The victims deserve answers, accountability, and a resolution to their pain and hardship.

Kelvin Johnson for SurgeZirc UK
Kelvin Johnson for SurgeZirc UK
Kelvin Johnson is a prominent figure in the field of UK politics reporting, contributing valuable insights and analysis to SurgeZirc UK. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he plays a crucial role in keeping the public informed about the political landscape in the United Kingdom.
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