The Post Office will appoint two postmasters to its board in the wake of the decades-long Horizon IT scandal that resulted in workers wrongly being sent to prison.
The move is part of an attempt to "reset" the Post Office's relationship with postmasters who run its branches after 900 sub-postmasters were privately prosecuted for alleged fraud, theft and false accounting.
Six former sub-postmasters had their convictions quashed by a court in December after it emerged a faulty accounting system used by the Post Office rendered their punishments unsafe.
A further 41 cases are going through the courts after being referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body set up to investigate possible miscarriages of justice. The Post Office reached a £58m settlement with more than 550 sub-postmasters in 2019.
The Post Office, which has more than 11,500 branches, said on Monday that two serving postmasters would join its board as non-executive directors for the first time, representing the interests of 8,000 postmasters.
Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, said: "Having two serving postmasters on our board sends the clearest signal yet of our determination to ensure postmasters really are at the heart of our business, and this election is another vital milestone in resetting our relationship with postmasters."
Postmasters who apply for the role will have their applications reviewed by Green Park, a recruitment firm, with the best candidates then interviewed by an independent panel.
The panel will include Shirine Khoury-Haq, chief financial officer of the Co-op Group and representatives from the Association of Convenience Stores and the Institute of Directors. Postmasters will vote on a shortlist of candidates in March.
The Horizon scandal has raised awkward questions for the Post Office over how early its management was aware of information that could have exonerated convicted postmasters.
Lawyers for the Post Office denied that the document was a smoking gun.
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