Postal scandal: Paula Vennells quits as director of Dunelm and Morrisons after convictions overturned Business News

The former post office general manager stepped down from her post on the Morrisons and Dunelm board of directors following the wrongful conviction of former deputy chiefs.

The two street chains announced on Monday that Paula Vennells would step down as non-executive director. She also ceases to serve as an ordained minister of the Church of England.

Ms Vennells was the post office’s managing director from 2012 to 2019 and was paid £ 89,000 by Morrisons and £ 30,000 by Dunelm last year.

Ms Vennells said: “It is evident that my engagement with the Post has become a distraction from the good work undertaken by the boards I serve.

“I therefore resigned with immediate effect from all my positions on the board.”

The Court of Appeals on Friday overturned the criminal convictions of 39 former postal workers after a faulty software system was found to show deficiencies in their accounts that did not exist.

Hundreds of sub-postmasters have been prosecuted for theft, fraud and false accounting based on data from the Horizon accounting system, which had “bugs, flaws and errors” from the time it was installed in 1999.

Ms Vennells had defended the system in front of MPs, insisting it was “robust” even though he knew its flaws. Last year, in a civil case brought by more than 500 sub-posts, a judge called Ms Vennells’ actions “cruel and incompetent”.

Ms Vennells left the post in 2019, months before another damning High Court judgment on the scandal.

After resigning from her post on the board of directors of Morrisons and Dunelm, Ms Vennells said she was “very sorry” for the “suffering” caused to the sub-positions which had been wrongly sentenced.

Ms Vennells said she intended “to fully focus on working with the ongoing government investigation to ensure that affected postmasters and the general public get the answers they deserve” .

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This notice was published: 2021-04-26 12:26:02