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More than 1,800 Post Office employees may have been wrongfully accused of taking money from the till

The true scale of the Post Office IT scandal was laid bare yesterday as it emerged that as many as 1,855 former employees may have been wrongfully accused of taking money from the till.

Hundreds of postmasters were sacked, went bankrupt or were wrongfully convicted after amounts appeared to vanish from their tills.

But it later emerged that shortfalls in the accounts of local branches were the result of flaws in the Post Office’s IT system, Horizon. 

Hundreds of postmasters were sacked, went bankrupt or were wrongfully convicted after amounts appeared to vanish from their tills [File photo]

Hundreds of postmasters were sacked, went bankrupt or were wrongfully convicted after amounts appeared to vanish from their tills [File photo]

In a bid to make amends for the scandal, which has run for close to two decades, the central Post Office company has promised to compensate postmasters.

Last night, as the deadline for applications for the scheme passed, 1,300 former members of staff had applied, the Post Office said.

This is on top of the 555 postmasters who fought for compensation in the High Court, winning a £58million settlement last December.

And 960 convictions linked to the scandal are being reviewed in what has been dubbed the biggest miscarriage of justice in UK history. 

The Post Office has promised to investigate its systems, and yesterday admitted its stamp stock procedures had the potential to produce cash shortfalls for postmasters.

The case has caused outrage in Westminster, with dozens of MPs voicing their anger that no one has been brought to justice for the scandal. Boris Johnson has ordered an inquiry.

Last night Karl Turner, an MP who represented postmasters as a barrister, said: ‘It is shocking that a Government-owned company got away with prosecuting and demonising its own staff for so long.’

Andy Furey, of the Communications Workers Union, said: ‘I am shocked they are still finding issues with the system – this time with stamps. It brings into doubt the transparency of the whole process.’

The Post Office said: ‘All claims will be progressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.’ 

It added: ‘We envisage it could take several months for individual case outcomes to be reached and communicated.’

Last night, as the deadline for applications for the scheme passed, 1,300 former members of staff had applied, the Post Office said. This is on top of the 555 postmasters who fought for compensation in the High Court, winning a £58million settlement last December [File photo]

Last night, as the deadline for applications for the scheme passed, 1,300 former members of staff had applied, the Post Office said. This is on top of the 555 postmasters who fought for compensation in the High Court, winning a £58million settlement last December [File photo]

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