A FORMER subpostmaster from South Warnborough has said the ex-CEO of the Post Office should return her CBE.

Government ministers are meeting today to discuss the Horizon scandal, as a petition calling for Paula Vennells to be stripped of her CBE has reached one million signatures.

Basingstoke Gazette: Jo HamiltonJustice secretary Alex Chalk and postal minister Kevin Hollinrake will discuss the scandal, after it gained huge public interest following the ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which told how a faulty accounting system led to more than 700 sub-postmasters being prosecuted.

Jo Hamilton, from South Wanborough, who was played by Bafta-winning actress Monica Donlan in the four-part drama, believes Ms Vennells – who oversaw the Post Office between 2012 and 2019 – should hand back her CBE.

“If she’s got any moral compass at all, she should give it back,” the 66-year-old told The Times newspaper, adding: “I would give it back before it was taken off me.”

Mother-of-two Jo was falsely accused of stealing £36,000 from the Post Office, which she ran at a village shop in South Warnborough.

READ MORE: 'Tonight's episode will shock you' - Post Office scandal victim reacts to ITV drama

She pleaded guilty in 2008 to false accounting for fear of going to prison. However, her conviction was quashed in 2021 after she was found to be a victim of the Horizon Post Office Scandal.

Ms Vennells, who was a parish priest before the scandal, has faced calls to be stripped of her CBE. She left the Post Office with a CBE for services to the organisation and charity, along with a £389,000 bonus.

“In spite of being a vicar, she doesn't seem to have any moral code,” Jo added.