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  • Kevin Hollinrake said he watched show with wife while Parliament was in recess 

The Minister in charge of the Post Office cried twice while watching the ITV dramatisation of the Horizon scandal, he has revealed.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Kevin Hollinrake described watching Mr Bates Vs The Post Office at home with his wife while Parliament was in recess.

‘We were both shocked,’ he said. ‘I think I cried more than she did.’

The Minister’s tears flowed in the courtroom scenes with Jo Hamilton, played by Monica Dolan, and when the sub-postmasters won their case, too, he told the MoS.

The ITV drama sparked nationwide outrage over what has been described as one of the most widespread miscarriages of justice in British history.

Mr Hollinrake wants the show to win all the awards at the Baftas and for actor Toby Jones to be given a knighthood – but not before Alan Bates, who Jones played in the drama, is awarded one first.

Post Office minister reveals he cried twice while watching the ITV dramatisation of the Horizon scandal Mr Bates vs The Post Office

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Kevin Hollinrake described watching Mr Bates Vs The Post Office at home with his wife while Parliament was in recess (File Photo)

The Minister's tears flowed in the courtroom scenes with Jo Hamilton, played by Monica Dolan (pictured), and when the sub-postmasters won their case, too, he told the MoS

The Minister’s tears flowed in the courtroom scenes with Jo Hamilton, played by Monica Dolan (pictured), and when the sub-postmasters won their case, too, he told the MoS

The MP for Thirsk and Malton said of the drama: ‘Some people knew the scale of this, but not everybody recognised its depth and the impact on people’s lives. It was beautifully portrayed.’

The scandal, which stemmed from problems with the Horizon IT system, saw hundreds of sub-postmasters being handed criminal convictions after the faulty accounting software made it appear as though money was missing from their branches.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said a new law will be introduced so that those affected are ‘swiftly exonerated and compensated’ and all victims handed an automatic £75,000 payment, too. Those whose convictions are quashed by the new law will then be eligible for compensation of at least £600,000.

The bill is set to cost the taxpayer as much as £1.5 billion, Mr Hollinrake revealed – up from the original £1 billion set aside. The rise is partly due to hundreds of new victims coming forward after the ITV drama. The Minister supports calls for part of the bill to be paid by Fujitsu – the company behind the Horizon system. The Japanese firm has assured it will contribute.

Mr Hollinrake said: ‘We think it’s right to keep our powder dry until we see the results of the inquiry. When we know the extent of its responsibility, then we will have a proper conversation about Fujitsu’s contribution.

‘We’ve got to be fair. I don’t believe in any kind of witch-hunt. There’s a joint responsibility here – including the Government as the only shareholder of the Post Office.’

Mr Hollinrake, who has been an MP for his North Yorkshire constituency since 2015, said addressing the scandal was his ‘number one priority’ when he became a Business Minister in 2022.

As for Lib Dem leader and former Post Office Minister Ed Davey, Mr Hollinrake admitted it was ‘painful’ watching him give an interview and refuse to say sorry ten times for his role in the scandal. ‘I’ve apologised for what I’ve done and I’ve only been here for 15 minutes,’ he said. ‘I think we should all apologise.’



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