Former Post Office Chairman’s Shocking Bid to Double CEO’s Pay Unearthed in Ongoing Horizon IT Scandal Fallout in the UK Parliament

Former Post Office Chairman’s Shocking Bid to Double CEO’s Pay Unearthed in Ongoing Horizon IT Scandal Fallout in the UK Parliament

In a startling revelation, former Post Office chairman Henry Staunton has been disclosed to have lobbied ministers for the doubling of the beleaguered firm’s chief executive, Nick Read’s, salary.

This disclosure emerged during a parliamentary session where postal affairs minister Kevin Hollinrake informed MPs about Staunton’s lobbying efforts to increase Read’s package, which currently stands at a base salary of £435,000, supplemented by a £137,000 bonus in the financial year 2022/23, bringing the total to £572,000.

This revelation has added another layer of controversy to the ongoing fallout from the Horizon IT scandal, where less than half of the compensation allocated for wronged subpostmasters affected by the scandal has been disbursed so far.

Rishi Sunak’s Shifting Support and Investigation into Nick Read

As the Horizon IT scandal continues to unfold, Chancellor Rishi Sunak appears to be altering his stance regarding his support for CEO Nick Read. Initially expressing ‘full confidence’ in Read during a select committee hearing, Sunak later deemed it ‘inappropriate’ to comment on the ongoing investigation into Read’s conduct during Prime Minister’s Questions.

The shift in tone suggests a nuanced approach as allegations against Read surface, leading to uncertainties about his leadership.

Downing Street has also refrained from explicitly stating full support for Read during this investigation, emphasizing a cautious stance amid the ongoing human resources inquiry.

Parliamentary Gasps as Staunton’s Lobbying Details Emerge

During a parliamentary debate, MP Jane Stevenson raised concerns about Staunton’s lobbying efforts and questioned the fairness and equity of the proposed pay rise for Read.

Minister Kevin Hollinrake responded by revealing that Staunton had sought to double Read’s overall package on two occasions, prompting audible gasps and astonishment from MPs in the chamber.

This revelation underscores the intensity of the internal disputes within the Post Office leadership and the questionable decisions made amidst the Horizon IT scandal fallout.

Staunton and Read Investigations: Unraveling Complex Allegations

The intricate web of allegations involves not only the lobbying efforts by Staunton but also an ongoing investigation into both Staunton and Read.

Staunton, who was dismissed by Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch last month, disclosed during a Commons business committee hearing that Read’s conduct was under scrutiny.

However, the nature of the allegations against Read remains unclear. The investigation is expected to conclude within days, potentially this week, adding an air of uncertainty to Read’s future with the Post Office.

Conflicting Accounts: Read’s Resignation Threats and Compensation Delay Claims

The committee hearing also brought to light conflicting accounts, with Staunton claiming that Read had threatened to resign four times due to dissatisfaction with his pay.

Additionally, Staunton asserted that he was instructed by former top civil servant Sarah Munby to stall compensation payments to wronged subpostmasters in January 2023.

Minister Hollinrake, however, strongly rejected these claims, emphasizing that Read’s cooperation in the investigation is indicative of a changing culture within the Post Office.

Government Response: Rejecting Staunton’s Allegations

Minister Hollinrake vehemently rejected Staunton’s allegations, stating that the investigation into Read demonstrates that no one is above scrutiny and underscores a cultural shift within the Post Office.

The government’s position remains firm in dismissing Staunton’s claims, characterizing them as an attempt to divert attention from the core issues discussed during the select committee, particularly Staunton’s dismissal and the allegations against him.

The government emphasizes the lack of substantiation for the central claim that it instructed Staunton to delay compensation payments.

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