Wednesday, May 1, 2019

And with that... she was gone

The Reverend Paula Anne Vennells CBE
Paula Vennells has, as of yesterday, been terminated as a director of the Post Office. I am grateful to blogger and campaigner Tim McCormack for bringing this to my attention.

Ms Vennells leaves her post having failed to give a single interview about the Bates and others v Post Office court action which, by the Post Office's own admission, poses an existential threat* to the business she joined in 2007 and ran for seven years from 2012 - 2019.

The taxpayer-owned Post Office has been caught trying to use government grants to fight the court action, and if it loses this litigation, it will have to go cap-in-hand to the government for a massive bailout or face disintegration.

I have written before (see "The Ballad of Paula Vennells") about the failure of anyone to effectively hold Ms Vennells to account over a scandal brewing before she joined the Post Office, but which effectively exploded on her watch.

Now she moves on to Chair the Imperial Health Trust and take up a non-executive role overseeing the Cabinet Office with a CBE and a nice clean pair of heels.

I hope that whoever chooses to ratify the above appointments asks some pertinent questions, and whoever might get to interview Ms Vennells (once she makes herself available) has a look at the findings made about the attitude and business practices of the organisation she ran.

Her christian supporters may also want to ask the reverend how she could morally preside over and defend an organisation which appears to have destroyed so many lives and livelihoods.

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* worth repeating in full. From clause three of the common issues trial written opening statement by Mr David Cavender QC: "If Cs [the claimants] were right in the broad thrust of their case, this would represent an existential threat to Post Office’s ability to continue to carry on its business throughout the UK in the way it presently does."

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