The Post Office (PO) has hit back at the judge in the ongoing Horizon trial who described its actions towards retailers as “oppressive”.

The group legal action will decide whether 550 retailers were wrongly accused of theft due to till system errors. The case represents ‘an existential threat’ to the future of the Post Office, according to the company’s legal team.

On 3 April, the PO brought in senior barrister Lord Grabiner to argue that Justice Fraser be removed from the case and that proceedings should be ‘adjourned’.

Grabiner and the PO said the judge’s claims that the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) failed to act in the interests of its members, and that senior PO staff had made ‘disingenuous’ statements, expressed bias against the organisation. A decision was due on 9 April, after
RN went to press.

The legal representative of the 550 retailers, Patrick Green, responded that the judge’s claims were relevant and required based on the evidence entered by the PO, and that the PO itself tried to create a ‘one-sided’ trial by providing ‘disingenuous’ statements.

An NFSP statement said Justice Fraser was ‘unfairly critical of our organisation’ and, contrary to the judge’s findings, that the NFSP acted independently to the PO to improve retailer contract terms.

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