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Former Post Office chair claims he is victim of ‘smear campaign’ led by Kemi Badenoch

Former Post Office chair claims he is victim of ‘smear campaign’ led by Kemi Badenoch

Former Post Office chair claims he is victim of ‘smear campaign’ led by Kemi Badenoch
Feb 27, 2024 1 min, 11 secs

The former chair of the Post Office has claimed he was the victim of a “smear campaign” led by the business secretary, Kemi Badenoch, and turned on his chief executive in a dramatic day of evidence to a parliamentary committee.

Early on in his evidence, Staunton had told the MPs that he had no doubt that a senior civil servant in the business department had suggested that compensation payments should be slowed down before the next general election.

He added that shortly after his own appointment in December 2022, he had broached the subject of Read’s pay with the then business secretary, Grant Shapps, and then later the current Post Office minister, Kevin Hollinrake.

Staunton claimed that part of the reason for his departure from the Post Office was his battling for former branch operators who sit on the board as non-executive directors as they sought to change the culture of the organisation.

Labour MP Kevan Jones, who has been campaigning on the scandal since 2009, said: “The secretary of state should explain what the 80-page documented complaint is against Nick Read, the chief executive, and why she thought it wasn’t relevant to mention that when she was responding to Staunton’s sacking.”

Earlier Read, who admitted he had been coached for his appearance by a PR firm on a £15,000 contract, had suggested that Staunton was wrong about his claims about government pressure to slow down compensation payments.

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