POST Office scandal victim Jo Hamilton was furious when she heard that David Cameron's government knew a secret investigation had been ditched that might have helped wrongly accused postmasters prove their innocence.

As reported by the BBC, the investigation in 2016 trawled through 17 years of records to find out how often, and why, cash accounts on the Horizon IT system had been tampered with remotely.

Ministers were told an investigation was happening but after postmasters began legal action, it was suddenly stopped.

READ MORE: Jo Hamilton not happy with Alan Bates compensation offer

Basingstoke Gazette: Jo HamiltonJo Hamilton (Image: Jo Hamilton)

Since the news has been made public it has been said that the Post Office may have broken the law - and the Government did nothing to prevent it. 

As previously reported, Jo, a former sub-postmaster from South Warnborough, says she suffered a ‘horrendous ordeal’ when she was forced to beg and borrow money after being accused of stealing £36,000 by the Post Office.

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, where a faulty accounting system led to more than 700 sub-postmasters being prosecuted.

Their story has been told in a four-part ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which laid bare what has been called the ‘most widespread miscarriage of justice in British legal history’.

After the show aired Jo told the Gazette that although she has received compensation other victims including members of the original Alan Bates group who "fought for justice" have still not been paid. 

She told the Gazette that she already knew about the investigation, known as Project Zebra.

It has made her feel furious ever since because it 'would have shown up the problems'.

"It is just really cruel and just wicked, knowing that the information could have helped sort it," she said.

She said she was told that the group could not legally use the information in the court battle and there was no proof at the time.

SEE ALSO: Jo Hamilton remains frustrated at the Post Office scandal

The secret investigation was uncovered through a BBC analysis of confidential government documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, from a time in 2015 and 2016 when the Post Office was under growing pressure to get to the bottom of sub-postmasters' claims of injustice.

The documents show how the Investigation had come out of a review by former top Treasury lawyer Jonathan Swift QC. The Swift review had been ordered by the Government, with approval from then-business secretary Sajid Javid.

There is no evidence that former prime minister David Cameron knew about the investigation but it would have concluded that it had found "real issues" for the Post Office.

Jo has since vowed to keep fighting for victims of the scandal who she said still haven't been paid.

She added: "It is steeling the attention away from the postmasters who still aren't getting paid."

The Gazette contacted the Department for Business and Trade for a comment but was told that the Prime Minister addressed the issue in the Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, February 21.

During the debate Rishi Sunak said that he "will make sure" that Post Office victims get what they deserve and said it is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in the nation's history.

During the debate he said: "It is worth bearing in mind that this scandal has unfolded over decades and that it was actually following a landmark 2019 High Court case that the previous Government established a statutory inquiry, led by Sir Wyn Williams, which is uncovering exactly what went wrong. It is right that that inquiry is allowed to do its work.

"But also following the High Court case, the Government established an independent advisory board, established three different compensation schemes and as of now over two thirds of people received full and final offers. Because what we are focused on is that the victims get the justice and compensation they deserve."