Canlyniadau 181–200 o 502 ar gyfer speaker:Lord Offord of Garvel

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Compensation Payments - Private Notice Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The issue here is that the sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses who run these shops know their accounts back to front—that is the whole point. They know to a penny what they are doing from one week to the next, which is why perhaps the greatest sadness in this saga was those honourable people being told that they were alone, when in fact there were thousands of them. We are clear now...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Compensation Payments - Private Notice Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: A company’s culture is set by the board and the management. There has not been a prosecution since 2015, and no one on the board of the Post Office today was involved in the prosecutions. The current board is completely different, and we are now dealing with getting the culture right for this company going forward. We always start with the chair, because that is the top position in the company.

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Compensation Payments - Private Notice Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I am rather relieved to say that I have no idea, so I shall write to the noble Lord.

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Compensation Payments - Private Notice Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I am not aware that that has happened formally, but the law of common sense says that it must be the case.

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Lord for his Question. Some of the evidence that has been brought to light through Sir Wyn Williams’s inquiry has been appalling and regrettable. The Government are committed to ensuring that lessons are learned and events are never repeated, but it is important that Sir Wyn is given the time and independence he needs to draw conclusions and report to Ministers on his findings.

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Lord. We are all deeply distressed by the events that have happened during this 25-year sorry saga. The noble Lord refers to one of the documents that was used by Post Office Ltd, which was released in 2023 under the Freedom of Information Act. That did have language in it using descriptors that were very much out of date and should have been updated; it was offensive...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I share the noble Lord’s frustration with this process. There was indeed offensive language used in the official documentation, which had not been updated since the 1980s and for which the Post Office has clearly apologised. As far as the culture in the Post Office is concerned, there is a rebuilding job required. The chairman has been removed and live conversations are going on right now...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Lord. He is referring to the historical document that was released under the Freedom of Information Act in 2023. It has clearly been identified to have offensive language in it, which had not been updated since the 1980s. There is an ongoing inquiry into this. We all want to know the answer. The reason we got into this position in the first place is that people were deemed...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank my noble friend. We both come at this from the same point of view: the private sector board. The board currently in place is not the board that prosecuted any of these postmasters. In fact, of the non-executive directors, three have been appointed in the last 12 months. There is no question that there has been a failure of governance. As we discussed last time, the governance of this...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Lord for that question. The inquiry was set up by this Government in 2020, initially on a non-statutory basis, immediately following the case with Lord Justice Parker in 2019. That was then upgraded to a statutory inquiry. So Wyn Williams has the full authority of the judicial process to get to the heart of this matter. We are also being advised, as we know, by the noble...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Baroness for that question. Absolutely—this is fundamental to looking at the overturning of the convictions. There were 983 wrongful convictions and the Ministry of Justice is now working through that process and it absolutely needs to understand exactly how these convictions came about and to whom.

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Lord for that. I can inform the House that the Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade will be giving a detailed Statement in the other place on this in about half an hour’s time, where she will categorically refute the allegations made by Henry Staunton—with evidence that we will put in the House of Commons Library to demonstrate that that was...

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble Baroness. As I said, these are all issues that will be looked at. Sir Wyn Williams has complete authority to look into all these matters and he will be guided by the public interest—where this is clearly in the public interest—and also by the advisory committee, with the noble Lord, Lord Arbuthnot, and Mr Bates et cetera.

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank my noble friend for that. I have said at the Dispatch Box before that there will quite a lot of examination required following the Wyn Williams report. There are number of arm’s-length bodies that are set up to look like plcs but do not behave like plcs, largely because there has not been the challenge and the scrutiny typical of non-execs and from Ministers in terms of oversight....

Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism - Question (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: My understanding that the judge in this inquiry is Sir Wyn Williams. I will have to write and find out whether there is a connection to Windrush. I am afraid I am not aware of that.

Written Answers — Department for Business and Trade: Business: Accountability (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: Reporting on ESG matters provides transparency to investors and other stakeholders, improving investment decisions. In particular, the Government supports the work of the International Sustainability Standards Board, which aims to align sustainability reporting globally, enabling investors compare investment decisions across markets. The Government believes that a mix of voluntary and...

Written Answers — Department for Business and Trade: Business: Accountability (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The Companies Act 2006 requires directors to have regard to impact of a company’s operations on the community and environment when exercising their duties. It also requires certain companies to provide information regarding environmental matters and social, community and human rights issues within their annual reports. The Government’s future plans to encourage companies to consider the...

Written Answers — Department for Business and Trade: Business: Accountability (19 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The Government’s plans regarding company reporting on environmental, social and governance matters are set out in Mobilising Green Investment – 2023 Green Finance Strategy (March 2023). These plans differ from the European Union’s (EU) plans in several areas. Specifically, the UK will not adopt the European Sustainability Reporting Standards. Instead, the UK Government has stated its...

Written Answers — Department for Business and Trade: Post Office: Subsidies (15 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The Postal Services Act 2011 established Post Office Limited as a company independent of Royal Mail Group. The following table sets out the subsidies awarded by Government to Post Office Limited since the 2011/12 Financial Year. The funding covers annual network subsidy payments, investment funding and from 2021/22 funding for Horizon compensation payments. Financial Year Total (£m)...

Written Answers — Department for Business and Trade: Recovery Loan Scheme (15 Chw 2024)

Lord Offord of Garvel: Lenders are currently offering over £100 million of additional lending per month through the British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), with 85 per cent of facilities going to small and micro businesses. RLS is particularly effective at serving alternative and social lenders, with more than three quarters of lending delivered through smaller lenders, including Community...


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