Alan Bates

Former subpostmaster Alan Bates has been awarded a Knighthood as part of King Charles III birthday honours.

Bates has long campaigned on behalf of subpostmasters affected by the Post Office Horizon scandal which saw hundreds falsely accused of fraud, with many serving time in prison.

His story, along with other subpostmasters, was depicted in the ITV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office, which drew widespread attention to the issue. He had been previously offered an OBE but refused it on the grounds that former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells had been awarded a CBE. An online petition for Vennells to be stripped of the honour collected more than a million signatures in the wake of the ITV drama, leading to her returning the CBE.

Upon accepting his Knighthood, Sir Alan Bates said it would be “another string to my bow to help me go forward and get some finality for people”.

An inquiry into the Post Office Horizon system is ongoing, and legislation to quash convictions relating to the IT system was passed in Parliament ahead of dissolution of government for the General Election on 4 July.