Post Office boss 'exonerated' after investigation into bullying allegations

By John Mercury April 18, 2024

The Post Office’s chief executive has been “exonerated of all misconduct allegations” following an investigation into bullying allegations.

The organisation said Nick Read would continue to lead it following the independent review.

Allegations about his behaviour emerged earlier this year when Henry Staunton, the former Post Office chairman, told a House of Commons select committee that an 80-page document had been written by the company’s former human resources director under its “Speak Up” policy.

Read more: Exclusive – Post Office chief braced for publication of crunch ‘bullying’ report

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Mr Staunton, who was informed of his sacking in January, and which was revealed by Sky News, made a number of allegations about the report’s contents, including apparent threats by Mr Read to resign over his pay package and claims of bullying made against him.

In a statement, the Post Office said that an independent barrister had been investigating a Speak Up complaint “into various allegations, which included a number of misconduct allegations against our CEO, Nick Read”.

It added: “Following several interviews and examination of documents by the barrister, Nick has been exonerated of all the misconduct allegations and has the full and united backing of the board to continue to lead the business.

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“The board regards the Speak Up process as critical to the open and supportive culture it wants to encourage at the Post Office. The integrity of that Speak Up process relies on confidentiality for whistleblowers and therefore we will not be providing further detail on this or any other Speak Up investigation.”

Read more: Ex-Post Office investigator ‘always thought Horizon was robust’

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The statement added that it was “unacceptable that this specific process was referred to in the public domain but notwithstanding that, Post Office wants to make clear that Speak Up allegations will always be thoroughly and consistently investigated, whoever they are aimed at”.

It continued: “The external investigator has made some recommendations on where improvements can be made to Post Office’s processes.

“Those recommendations are helpful and we will ensure that they are properly and promptly addressed going forward. We will not be commenting further on this matter.”

The row – stoked by Mr Staunton after he was sacked by Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch – erupted as the government sought to introduce legislation that would quash the wrongful convictions of sub-postmasters in what has been labelled Britain’s worst miscarriage of justice.


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