Nick Read, The Head of Post Office, Cleared in Misconduct Case

Nick Read, the chief executive of the Post Office, has been vindicated of allegations of misconduct following an investigation conducted on behalf of the organization.

The Post Office affirmed its full support for Mr. Read to continue his role, citing the unanimous backing of the board, after the inquiry led by an external barrister. Additionally, Mr. Read enjoys the confidence of the government, according to a spokesperson.

The investigation into Mr. Read’s conduct was brought to light by former Post Office chairman Henry Staunton.

Nick Read

Although the allegations against Mr. Read emerged during a hearing concerning the Post Office Horizon scandal, it was clarified that these misconduct claims were distinct from the ongoing scandal.

During an inquiry into compensation for sub-postmasters affected by the Horizon scandal, Mr. Staunton disclosed that Mr. Read was under investigation, based on allegations made by the Post Office’s former HR chief.

Mr. Staunton asserted that Mr. Read’s management of governance and compliance issues was under scrutiny, following a rift with the senior HR personnel.

Moreover, Mr. Staunton alleged that Mr. Read attempted to resign on four occasions during his tenure as chair of the Post Office, spanning from December 2022 to January 2024, and had contentious discussions regarding his salary.

The Post Office refuted Mr. Staunton’s claims, asserting inaccuracies and falsehoods. Mr. Read personally rejected the allegations made against him, conveying his stance to his staff.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Post Office announced that a report authored by barrister Marianne Tutin of Devereux Chambers had cleared Mr. Read of all misconduct allegations.

However, the document detailing the findings has not been made public, with the Post Office opting not to disclose further specifics about the allegations, which were raised through the whistleblowing process known as “Speak Up.”

Nick Read (Credits: Sergio Perez)

The organization emphasized its discontent regarding the public disclosure of this specific process. Despite the challenges posed by the investigation, the Department for Business and Trade affirmed its confidence in Mr. Read.

It expressed the view that the report has resolved the issue, enabling a shift in focus towards expeditiously and fairly compensating postmasters affected by the Horizon scandal.

The Horizon scandal, which unfolded between 1999 and 2015, saw numerous sub-postmasters wrongly accused of theft and false accounting due to errors in the Horizon computer system.

Efforts are underway in parliament to nullify the wrongful convictions of these individuals. However, critics have raised concerns over the protracted duration it has taken for victims to receive adequate compensation.

As of 31 March, 37 individuals have received full and final compensation for overturned convictions.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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