Words of former West Boldon sub-postmaster used to tackle Prime Minister as Sir Keir Starmer took on Rishi Sunak in Parliament

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The words of a campaigning former sub-postmaster were hurled at the Prime Minister as Sir Keir Starmer used his case to question the Government's handling of the Horizon scandal.

Mr Head ran the West Boldon Post Office from 2006-2015 from the age of just 18, and was among hundreds of sub-postmasters accused of fraud and theft by the Post Office over the last two decades.

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Since then he has campaigned tirelessly for sub-postmasters to see justice.

Former West Boldon postmaster and campaigner, Christopher Head.Former West Boldon postmaster and campaigner, Christopher Head.
Former West Boldon postmaster and campaigner, Christopher Head.

The Labour leader referenced his campaigning as he took on Rishi Sunak at in the House of Commons.

Si Keir said: "As we all know, the Horizon scandal left people isolated, their livelihoods lost, their lives ruined. Some died without ever getting the justice that they deserved. Fears of delay, or of cover up, are causing them anguish. Yesterday, Chris Head, once accused by the Post Office of owing more than £80,000, said this:

“'There is a lack of transparency…We need to see the correspondence between [the] Post Office, the department and UKGI because all of this time everything gets shrouded in secrecy'.

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"I appreciate that the inquiry is ongoing, but as the Prime Minister knows—as do I and the whole House—that does not provide a reason why he cannot draw a line under this, give postmasters such as Chris the peace of mind that they need, and release all the correspondence that he wants to see. Will he now do so?"

House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire

Mr Sunak replied: "As I (previously) said, this is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our country’s history.

"I do not think it is one that the Leader of the Opposition ever raised with me during these exchanges over the past year, but we are working hard to get victims not just the answers but the compensation that they deserve.

"We now have a statutory inquiry led by Sir Wyn Williams, who has the powers to get access to all the documentation that he requires and to speak to everybody that he needs to.

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"That is the right and proper way to get the truth that the victims deserve, but in the meantime, we are not wasting a moment to get victims the compensation they deserve. The legislation will be before the House shortly."

House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire

During Sir Keir's question to the Prime Minister, rival MPs attempted to shout him down.

Chris Head took them to task social media platform X.

He posted: "This is not the time for shouting ‘playing politics’ when @Keir_Starmer during #PMQs raised the question about me being angry with delays to compensation (For the record I had been a conservative voter since 18 & becoming a Postmaster within a labour constituency).

"I am angry as are all Postmasters after being promised full & fair compensation yet myself, Alan Bates & others are being insulted with offers of less than 20% of professionally quantified claims.

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"This type of politics needs to stop, government is to act in the best interests of the people, to actually learn lessons & deliver justice & redress when it is required. For goodness sake just sort it out, and sort it out now."

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne.Jarrow MP Kate Osborne.
Jarrow MP Kate Osborne.

She said: "I heard the Prime Minister’s responses to the Leader of the Opposition. Just like the Business Secretary’s claims that delays on compensation are wild, baseless allegations, his answers are unbelievable.

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"The response from the Government Benches to the quote from my constituent Chris Head was completely disrespectful.

"The reality is that we would not have any action without the ITV serialisation of the sub-postmaster scandal— Government Members can shout all they like, but we all know that is the case. The Prime Minister has promised a new law to swiftly exonerate and compensate victims.

"Today he said 'shortly', so will he commit today to ensuring that it is brought forward before the next General Election?"

Mr Sunak replied: "Yes, the legislation will be brought before the House very, very soon."

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