The situation has developed not necessarily to Kemi Badenoch’s advantage

The situation has developed not necessarily to Kemi Badenoch’s advantage

The Times have quite the revelation that, ceteris paribus, should lead to the sacking or resignation of Kemi Badenoch.

A top civil servant told the former chairman of the Post Office to “hobble” into the election and not to “rip off the band aid” in terms of its finances, according to a memo unearthed on Tuesday.

Sarah Munby, who was then permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, warned Henry Staunton that “politicians do not necessarily like to confront reality” and that “now was not the time for dealing with long-term issues”, according to a contemporaneous note of their first meeting on January 5 last year.

Staunton wrote the note that night and emailed it to himself. He forwarded a copy to Nick Read, the Post Office’s chief executive, the following day.

Staunton discovered the memo in his personal emails yesterday and shared it with The Times. Its emergence will reignite the fierce row between the former WH Smith chairman and the government over the handling of the Horizon IT scandal.

Staunton, 75, who was fired as Post Office chairman last month, gave an explosive interview to The Sunday Times last weekend in which he claimed that soon after he took the role, an unnamed senior Whitehall official told him to stall on spending on compensation to sub-postmasters wrongly convicted due to glitches caused by a software system supplied by Fujitsu….

…Staunton said that he was ordered to “limp into the election” to save the government money. “It was not an anti-postmaster thing, it was just straight financials,” he told The Sunday Times. He said that until “the dam broke” thanks to the release of the ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office last month, efforts to help sub-postmasters were “getting absolutely nowhere”.

His claims drew a furious response from Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, who accused him of peddling “made-up anecdotes and a series of falsehoods”. Badenoch told the Commons on Monday that Staunton’s allegation that he was ordered to stall on compensation to sub-postmasters was “completely false”.

Her department published a letter from Munby to Staunton congratulating him on his appointment as Post Office chairman and setting out three priorities for him, one of which was “reaching settlements with claimants” in the Horizon scandal.

The discovery of the January 5 memo now raises serious questions over the accuracy of Badenoch’s denial and her decision to brand Staunton a liar.

It gets worse for the overrated Badenoch with the Canadian High Commissioner pointing out Badenoch has caused epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear. I hope somebody has told the Canada and their High Commissioner to brace themselves for a furious Twitter thread from Badenoch.

Lying to Parliament is a resigning offence, once may well be unfortunate, but twice and she’s doomed, I know it is gauche to point out that you are right, but for some time I have advised laying Badenoch in the next Tory leader market, this is further proof in my humble opinion that strategy is the road to profit.

With PMQs in a few hours time I suspect Sir Keir Starmer will once again give Sunak a difficult time, this time over truthfulness of Kemi Badenoch.


Comments are closed.