Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has said he cannot remember receiving a detailed briefing about the Horizon scandal while he was prime minister – but says he is sorry for an “appalling miscarriage of justice”.
The scandal saw hundreds of sub-postmasters wrongly convicted of stealing after faulty Fujitsu accounting software made it appear as though money was missing at their branches.
The Post Office also forced at least 4,000 branch managers pay back cash based on the flawed data.
Some victims were sent to prison or financially ruined, others were shunned by their communities, while some took their own lives.
The long-running battle for justice accelerated dramatically after ITV broadcast the drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office, which highlighted the outrage earlier this month.
Speaking to Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Philips, Lord Cameron said: “I don’t recall in any detail being briefed or being aware of the scale of this issue.”
He added that it is “hard to remember every letter and piece of paper that is put in front of you”.
But the Conservative Cabinet minister went on: “This is an appalling miscarriage of justice and anyone who’s been involved in government in any way over the last 20 years has got to be extremely sorry, as I am, about what has happened.”
Days after the TV drama aired, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced those wrongly prosecuted in England and Wales would have their names cleared under emergency blanket legislation.
Meanwhile, Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake said those responsible for the scandal should be jailed, arguing it would be the “ultimate deterrent” to prosecute and lock up those to blame.