Andrew Mitchell welcomes the announcement that the group of Post Office Horizon software scandal victims who defeated the Post Office in the High Court case will get compensation and calls on the Government to ensure the independent inquiry also looks at the Government’s role so that lessons can be learned.
I very much welcome what my hon. Friend has said today, and there is no doubt that he has been part of the resolution of this problem, but he will know that across the House for many, many months everyone has accepted that this is a huge miscarriage of justice and a disgrace. There is an independent inquiry, which he has rightly referred to today, but will he make sure that within Government there is a lessons learned process and lessons drawn for the future, so that the role of Government, too, is placed under the microscope, to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again?
Paul Scully (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
First, my right hon. Friend talked about the independent inquiry, and I want to answer the earlier question about Fujitsu. Fujitsu is not on the preferred list of Government suppliers, but it can tender for Government contracts. Indeed, when we hear from the independent inquiry, that will give us all the information we need for how we move our relationship going forward.
To speak to the point that my right hon. Friend made, we always want to learn lessons, not just on what happened with the scandal, but on how we have handled it recently. Covid has taught us how to accelerate decision making, which has given me some of the weaponry I needed to get to this point quicker than we might have done in normal times. There are plenty of lessons we will be learning in the Government.