Post Office

Former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells has had her CBE revoked for her part in the Horizon scandal.

Confirmed by the Cabinet Office, the honour, which was awarded to Vennells in 2019 for services to the Post Office and to charity, was forfeited for ‘bringing the honours system into disrepute’.

This comes after more than one million people signed an online petition calling for her CBE to be removed following the airing of the ITV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office, which highlighted the Horizon software issue to a wider audience.

The Horizon software was introduced by the Post Office and lead to hundreds of subpostmasters being falsely accused and prosecuted for stealing money, with some serving custodial sentences for crimes they did not commit.

In January 2024, Vennells announced she was to return her CBE following the public outcry over her part in the Horizon scandal. In a statement at the time, she said: “I continue to support and focus on co-operating with the inquiry and expect to be giving evidence in the coming months. I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence. “I am, however, aware of the calls from sub-postmasters and others to return my CBE. I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.”

Vennells was one of three people to have their honours revoked this month.

The government has also announced new legislation that would quash convictions related to Horizon, with a view to it being given Royal Assent before the Summer. A public inquiry into the Horizon scandal is currently ongoing.