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NFSP statement about ITV drama 'Mr Bates vs the Post Office'

Dec 21, 2023 |

 An ITV drama about the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry called ‘Mr Bates vs the Post Office’ will air in January 2024.


The four-part series begins on Monday 1 January and runs for four consecutive nights, with the final episode on Thursday 4 January.


The Horizon Inquiry is currently investigating the biggest miscarriage of justice ever seen in the United Kingdom. The Horizon software system that we ourselves used as postmasters was proven to have serious faults.


The show will raise interest in the ongoing Inquiry whilst it continues and may result in customers asking questions when they visit your post offices.


The experience of the NFSP Board is that anytime they have socially met with people where the Inquiry has been raised or discussed, the individuals have been very empathetic towards our colleagues of the past and the current wider network.


The Inquiry, quite rightly, seeks to understand the role of the NFSP in the Horizon scandal. We have been heavily involved and have supported the Inquiry by providing thousands of documents. However, as postmasters ourselves, it pains us that the NFSP and other representative bodies whose members are also victims in this scandal, were unable to prevent this from happening.


The NFSP’s wish is for all current and previous postmasters, assistants, and Crown office employees of Post Office Ltd (PO) who were adversely affected by the Horizon scandal, have their reputations restored, and be appropriately recompensed so that they are able to move on with their lives.


We will do everything within our power to support our members and achieve the right outcome for them. 


The NFSP remains dismayed by the actions of Post Office Ltd and its IT supplier Fujitsu after the introduction of the Horizon system. The legal industry convicted innocent people when PO, Royal Mail, Fujitsu, the Civil Service, and the British Government all denied there was a problem.


With all the battles before him to prove postmasters’ innocence and the faults with Horizon, we have to appreciate the hard work by Alan Bates and his sheer determination to achieve justice.


This is about a citizen of the United Kingdom challenging how the UK is governed. Mr Bates has won many battles and for that he has to be commended.


Where the NFSP has been criticised for its actions in the past, we have listened and learned. To give colleagues confidence that we have reviewed our policies of support, we now have trained advocacy representatives throughout the UK. In the unlikely event there is a potential breach of contract situation, the NFSP is better equipped to provide the support our colleagues require.


Postmasters have invested significant sums of their own funds into the post office network. They are important contributors to local economies and are, collectively, a major employer in the UK. As their voice, the NFSP ensure their concerns are made clear to PO and to government. And, as a group, we will work to put their interests first, always. 


NFSP members can watch the Horizon Inquiry on the YouTube channel here.


In the unlikely event you are contacted by the press regarding the Horizon Inquiry, direct them to Post Office Ltd or to the NFSP on

Tags: Communication, Media, Membership, Post Office