The ousted Publish Workplace chairman has insisted it was the corporate’s present chief govt who was the topic of an inner investigation, not him.

Former chair Henry Staunton was dismissed final month by enterprise secretary Kemi Badenoch who mentioned bullying accusations had been made towards him.

However on Tuesday, Mr Staunton instructed MPs on the Enterprise and Commerce Committee that it was the CEO Nick Learn who was being investigated.

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Mr Staunton mentioned the Publish Workplace boss “fell out” with the enterprise’s [human resources] HR director and mentioned that his personal behaviour was solely referenced as soon as in an 80-page doc about Mr Learn.

The ex-chairman mentioned there was one paragraph within the report on alleged politically incorrect remarks made by him and he “strenuously denied” the declare.

“This was an enormous investigation into Nick. And I did not realise you were not conscious of that,” he instructed the MPs.

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Requested if he was knowledgeable his behaviour was underneath investigation in November final 12 months, Mr Staunton mentioned: “What there’s, truly, is Mr Learn fell out together with his HR director and she or he produced a ‘converse up’ doc which was 80 pages thick.

“Inside that, was one paragraph… about feedback that I allegedly made. So that is an investigation, not into me, that is an investigation made into the chief govt Nick Learn.

“That one paragraph you would say was about politically incorrect feedback attributed to me which I strenuously deny.”

Nick Read, the Post Office chief
Publish Workplace chief govt Nick Learn

Downing Avenue has mentioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confidence in Mr Learn following Mr Staunton’s claims.

Learn extra:
Who’s Henry Staunton, the Metropolis grandee who took on Kemi Badenoch?
‘Lifeless duck’ Publish Workplace must be offered to Amazon for £1, says campaigner Alan Bates
Publish Workplace scandal: Invoice to compensate victims might be greater than £1bn

Additionally on the committee listening to, Mr Staunton reiterated claims he made in an interview with the Sunday Occasions that he was instructed by a senior civil servant, Sarah Munby, to go sluggish in processing sub-postmaster compensation claims over the Horizon IT scandal within the run-up to the overall election.

In response to the word Ms Munby produced of the assembly, Mr Staunton mentioned it wasn’t contemporaneous and that his electronic mail file, despatched to Mr Learn on the time and subsequently despatched to journalists, was true.

“It’s written a 12 months and a month after my file word. So it is not a recent file word by any means. It is written with the aim of answering this level.”

He additionally refuted claims made earlier within the listening to that he was disrupting an investigation and didn’t cooperate.

The main focus of consideration must be on justice for sub-postmasters, he added.

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Kemi Badenoch was requested in January – why sack Publish Workplace chair after a 12 months?

Mr Staunton mentioned: “This could all be in regards to the postmasters and their households and the way their lives have been wrecked.

“That is what all of this must be about and nothing else. The remainder is simply flimflam.”

The Horizon scandal noticed greater than 700 subpostmasters prosecuted by the Publish Workplace and handed prison convictions between 1999 and 2015 as Fujitsu’s defective Horizon software program system made it look as if cash was lacking from their branches.

Lots of of subpostmasters are nonetheless awaiting compensation regardless of the federal government saying those that have had convictions quashed are eligible for £600,000 payouts.

Earlier within the day, a senior official on the Division of Enterprise and Commerce, Carl Creswell, mentioned he had been instructed that different Publish Workplace board members would resign ought to Mr Staunton not be eliminated. “I used to be instructed that explicitly,” he mentioned.

He mentioned there have been two foremost allegations which influenced Mr Staunton’s removing, first that he had tried to cease a whistleblowing investigation into his conduct and the second that he was “making an attempt to cease” the method to recruit a brand new board member.


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