Sunak would be fully supportive of a thorough examination of the CBE awarded to the former head amidst the Post Office scandal.

Rishi Sunak would “strongly support” the honours forfeiture committee if it decided to review the CBE of Paula Vennells, the former Post Office boss, following the Horizon scandal, according to Downing Street.

There is a growing demand for Vennells, who was the CEO during the time when the organization consistently denied any problems with its IT system, to return her honour after an ITV drama brought attention back to the widescale miscarriage of justice.

A petition calling for the honours forfeiture committee to revoke Vennells’ CBE due to the scandal, which has been described as the most extensive miscarriage of justice in UK history, has already garnered over 1 million signatures.

Sunak’s spokesperson stated that the prime minister shares the public’s outrage on this issue and would fully support the forfeiture committee if they decide to review the case, but ultimately, the decision lies with the committee.

Previously, the prime minister pledged to rectify the situation for all those impacted and expressed interest in expediting the compensation process. His spokesperson hinted that Fujitsu, the provider of the flawed accounting software, could be expected to contribute to the compensation costs.

The justice secretary, Alex Chalk, is scheduled to meet with Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake on Monday to discuss how to help the convicted branch managers clear their names. They will face pressure in the House of Commons to confirm that the convictions will be overturned.

Speaking in Accrington, Lancashire, the prime minister defended the government’s response and emphasized the urgency to expedite compensation for the victims. Vennells, who was in charge of the Post Office when they consistently denied issues with the Horizon IT system, has apologized for the suffering caused to wrongfully convicted post office operators.

This is not the first time questions have been raised about Vennells’ CBE. Hollinrake previously suggested considering revoking the honor, and Labour MP Kevan Jones has long supported such action.

Keir Starmer has called for the prosecution powers of the Post Office to be removed and for a reexamination of past convictions, further increasing pressure on the government’s response to the scandal.

During a visit in Loughborough, the Labour leader stated, “I think that the prosecution should be taken out of the hands of the Post Office and given to the Crown Prosecution Service. … It might be possible to get these cases back before the court of appeal quickly – I’ve done that when I was a prosecutor – but whichever way it’s done, these convictions need to be looked at.”

Downing Street did not confirm whether removing prosecution powers would be considered, but Sunak’s spokesperson mentioned that ministers are examining the mistakes made and the lessons to be learned.

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