SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed the recent progress in the work to overturn the wrongful convictions of sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses across Scotland and the rest of the UK, following the Horizon IT Scandal.
Between 1999 and 2015, the Post Office prosecuted over 700 people in England when faulty software made it look as though money was missing from their branches. Around 100 people in Scotland are also believed to have been wrongfully convicted via the Crown Prosecution Service. Many of those convicted served time in prison, and many more faced financial ruin, despite problems with the software being highlighted repeatedly. To date, only 93 convictions have been overturned across the UK.
Commenting, Allan said:
“This dreadful miscarriage of justice has gone on for far too long, and unfortunately for many individuals and their families, it is simply too late to fully right the wrongs committed against them as part of this long-running scandal.
“It should not have taken a television series to provoke substantial action from the UK Government, who are the sole shareholder in Post Office Ltd. Nonetheless, I welcome the progress which has been made this week in moving this issue forward, with the Scottish Government pushing for a joint working approach with the UK Government to ensure a UK-wide delivery of justice for all those who faced the dire consequences of being wrongfully convicted.
“It is important to note that the Western Isles is sadly far from immune from the impact of this scandal, with a number of local individuals directly affected. It is vital that every effort continues to be made to ensure remaining convictions are overturned, and compensation secured for every individual. It is also imperative that lessons are learned to make sure that nothing like this is ever allowed to happen again.”