The Post Office has come under fire from MPs who believe the organisation could have better handled claims that a faulty IT system led to sub-postmasters being wrongly accused of fraud.
In September, a report heavily criticised the Post Office, claiming more than 150 sub-postmasters had been wrongly prosecuted or made to repay money because of a technical fault.
Now, over 140 MPs have withdrawn support for the resulting mediation scheme because the organisation is reportedly ignoring 90% of applications for mediation.
A group of 144 MPs say they have been contacted by sub-postmasters in their constituency and their leader, James Arbuthnot, sent a letter earlier this week to Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells to complain.
“The scheme was set up to help our constituents seek redress and to maintain the Post Office’s good reputation. It is doing neither,” claimed Arbuthnot.
“It has ended up mired in legal wrangling, with the Post Office objecting to most of the case even going into the mediation that the scheme was designed to provide,” he added.
“Either the Post Office is awash with criminals who open sub Post Offices for personal gain, or something has gone terribly wrong,” claimed Mike Wood MP.
“MPs are inclined to believe the latter and we are all shocked that the Post Office seems not to want to get to the bottom of all this,” he added.
The Post Office has claimed that the letter it received from MPs was “regrettable” and “surprising.”
“We take these issues very seriously and have done since setting up a review more than two years ago,” it claimed.
“We are paying for the small number of postmasters who have raised issues to get independent advice and have opened up a mediation scheme,” it added.