Post Office boss Paula Vennells is formally stripped of her CBE by the King for ‘bringing honours system into disrepute’

THE disgraced former Post Office boss Paula Vennells has been formally stripped of her CBE by the King.

She had already committed to relinquish the gong following fury at her role in the Horizon postmaster scandal.

Paula Vennells has been stripped of her CBE


Paula Vennells has been stripped of her CBECredit: PA

But the Cabinet Office has today revealed it has been “revoked by the Sovereign” for “bringing the honours system into disrepute”.

Ms Vennells appeared on a list of 14 people who have had their honours revoked since August 2023.

She was hit by a public backlash after ITV’s Mr Bates vs the Post Office drama laid bare the plight of postmasters wrongly accused of stealing.

Faulty Horizon accounting software made it appear as if money was missing from Post Office branches around the UK.

The IT system led to the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of postmasters on Ms Vennells’ watch.

Ms Vennells – who ran the Post Office while it routinely denied there was a problem with Horizon IT system – was awarded a CBE in December 2019.

She announced she was handing it back in January after more than 1.2million signed a petition in the wake of ITV’s drama.

Downing Street had also piled pressure on her to give back her CBE after indicating its “strong support” for her to lose it.

Last month Ms Vennells released a statement saying she would relinquish the honour.

She said: “I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence.

“I am, however, aware of the calls from sub-postmasters and others to return my CBE.

“I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.”

The Sun speaks to Post Office’s youngest ever sub-postmaster who lost his job in Horizon scandal

A person cannot technically hand back their CBE, although they can act as if they were never awarded it.

Ministers are drawing up urgent new laws to quash all Post Office convictions and pay out compensation.

They are ready to exonerate hundreds of Post Office scandal victims – even if it means some actual crooks end up walking free.

Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake said it was a “price worth paying” in order to ensure justice. 

The aim is for the law to come into effect by the end of July and it is expected to clear the majority of the victims.


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