18th June 2022

The true story of institutional corruption, epic battles in the corridors of power and how hundreds of innocent people fought to clear their names.

LP Creatives present: POST OFFICE SCANDAL the inside story

A Post Office Scandal Story. This is the true story of how hundreds of innocent Post Office workers fought to clear their names. They had to do so when accounting errors created by dodgy IT (an unreliable system called ‘Horizon’) led to their Post Office masters accusing them of theft and fraud.

Proud pillars of their communities found themselves stripped of their jobs and livelihoods. Worse, many more had bankruptcy thrust open them. That or they had to borrow from friends and family to give the Post Office thousands they didn’t owe. Hundreds of innocent people faced criminal prosecution by the Post Office’s own private prosecutors and sent to prison.

Supporter - outside the High Court on 16 December 2019 after the Horizon trial_18 -Post Office Scandal Story
Post Office Scandal Story

Coming to Swindon Arts Centre on:

Monday 4th July 2022 at 7:30pm – www.swindontheatres.co.uk– Box Office 0343 3100040

Swindon arts centre

Running time: Approximately 60 – 70 minutes plus interval, followed by 30 minutes Q&A and a book signing in foyer areas.

What they said about this show

An extraordinary journalistic expose of a huge miscarriage of justice.’- Ian Hislop, Editor, Private Eye.

A tale brilliantly told by Nick Wallis. Nick has dedicated years of work to establishing what happened, why it happened and calling those responsible to account.’ – Rev Richard Coles, Presenter.

‘Laying bare the lies and deceit that has ruined so many lives.’ – Dame Joan Bakewell.

Soon to be adapted into a primetime ITV drama, this jaw-dropping, unique and gripping story forms the subject of a compelling stage show.

Reporter and broadcaster Nick Wallis has followed the Post Office Horizon story for over a decade. A leading journalistic authority on the scandal, Nick has first-hand knowledge of many of the dramatic events which brought it to light.

Over the course of approximately one hundred minutes, Nick chronicles the twists and turns of the scandal. He includes the shambolic commissioning of the disastrous Horizon IT system and the punitive methods that the Post Office employed to ruin peoples’ lives. And then the eventual cover-up, maintained at the highest levels of government.

Nick has drawn on the story to write a best-selling book, ‘The Great Post Office Scandal’. Serialised by the Daily Mail and featured in the Sunday Times. It’s this book that forms the basis of his new show.

Nick Wallis
Post Office Scandal Story – Nick Wallis

The format of the show

In the show Nick will:

  • Give context to the scandal
  • Narrow in on some of the key personalities involved – and what they knew ..
  • … and relate the staggering legal battles fought and won by campaigning sub-postmasters.

As 2022’s public inquiry into the scandal reveals yet more horrors, Nick will be able to explain the latest developments and their significance.

Nick talk about his experiences, using audio visual excerpts and reading from his best-selling book. A Q&A session will follow, giving the audience an opportunity to explore areas in more detail.

On each date of the show, there may also be a special guest or two. People affected by or involved in exposing the scandal. They’ll appear with Nick on stage to answer questions and provide powerful first-hand testimony.

About the upcoming shows Nick says: ‘There is a real public appetite to hear more about the scandal. Telling this story to a live audience, answering questions and highlighting the true scale of what went wrong is a privilege to be a part of.’

Nick adds ‘I also want to pay tribute to the brave people who the Post Office ruined and who risked everything to get the truth into the public domain.’

The Horizon scandal fund

10% of the profits from each performance goes to to the Horizon Scandal Fund. That’s a charity set up to help Sub-postmasters, Post Office managers, assistants and their families who’ve had their lives affected by this scandal. For more, please see www.horizonscandalfund.org

Post Office Scandal Story - Cheering subpostmasters
Post Office Scandal Story – Cheering sub-postmasters

Background story

On 23rd April 2021, the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of thirty-nine former Sub-postmasters. Further it ruled their prosecutions were an affront to the public conscience. It’s a scandal described as one of the most widespread and significant miscarriages of justice in UK legal history.

The thirty-nine comprise a mere few of the hundreds of people who, between 2000 and 2013, the Post Office prosecuted for criminal offences on the basis of IT evidence.

The evidence came from Horizon, the Post Office’s deeply-flawed accounting system. It threw up duplicate entries, lost transactions and made erroneous calculations. If these errors resulted in apparent losses in individual branch accounts, Sub-postmasters found themselves forced to settle the discrepancies from their own pockets. Sometimes this was hundreds, sometimes thousands or tens of thousands of pounds. The Post Office sacked and took to court those who couldn’t pay. They stipped proud pillars of the community of their jobs and livelihoods. This forced many into bankruptcy. Many borrowed from friends and family to give the Post Office money they hadn’t taken under threat of losing their business investments and jobs. The most unlucky ones got prison sentences.

Nick Wallis

Nick Wallis, an award-winning freelance journalist and broadcaster, has been pursuing this story since 2010. Then he met a taxi driver who told him his pregnant wife had received a prison sentence for a crime she did not commit. Since then, he’s recorded interviews with dozens of victims, insiders and experts. He’s uncovered hundreds of documents to build up an unparalleled understanding of the story. Using these sources, Nick has been instrumental in bringing the scandal into the public eye.

He broadcast his first investigation for the BBC in 2011. In the same year he took the story to Private Eye. Since then he’s made three Panoramas and a Radio 4 series. He’s raised thousands of pounds to crowdfund his own court reporting for the Post Office Trial website. Nick’s now written the first definitive account of the scandal which he will bring to several UK Theatres throughout 2022/23.

He takes us from the ill-fated deal that brought Horizon into existence. Then through years of half-truths and obstruction, to the tearful scenes at the Court of Appeal in 2021. He exposes the secrecy and mistrust at the heart of the story and the impact that had on the victims. He also chronicles how this story’s hero, Alan Bates, started as a lone public voice of dissent. But he went on to beat the Post Office. He did it against overwhelming odds and at two of the highest courts in the land and won some redress for the victims.