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Sacked workers set for a view
TWO sacked subpostmasters in north Hampshire hope their cases will be looked at in a new external review commissioned by the Post Office.
Jo Hamilton, 55, from South Warnborough and David Bristow, 60, from Odiham, were among more than 100 Post Office employees to have their contracts terminated over accusations of false accounting.
Now, North East Hampshire MP James Arbuthnot has taken up their cases and has met with senior representatives from the Post Office.
The MP asked for an external review of some of the cases, and for each case to be reviewed individually – a request that was granted by the Post Office.
Mr Arbuthnot said: “It is in the interests of everyone involved – constituents, their MPs, and Post Office Ltd – to get this matter resolved. I think that what has come out of the meeting is a very positive and mature process which will yield good, trustworthy results.”
Paula Vennells, chief executive of Post Office Ltd, said: “The Post Office continues to have absolute confidence in the robustness and integrity of its branch accounting processes.
“We have no hesitation in agreeing to an external review of these few individual cases that have been raised with us by Mr Arbuthnot and some of his fellow MPs.”
Mrs Hamilton hit the headlines in 2008 when she admitted 14 counts of false accounting relating to the disappearance of £36,500 from South Warnborough’s sub post office.
Despite her guilty plea, the mother-of-two has insisted all along that she did not take the money, and that it was due to glitches with the Post Office’s computer accounting system.
She told The Gazette: “I welcome any kind of investigation that might get to the bottom of what’s going on, but I’m quite cynical about it because I do not think the Post Office play fair.”
Mr Bristow refused to pay back £42,000 after being accused of altering figures on the system when he was a subpostmaster at the branch in Odiham High Street. He said: “It’s definitely a good thing and a step forward.”