A GUID New Year to all. I hope folk had an enjoyable break. There are many problems in our world but there’s much to look forward to and we can make this a better world.

Along with many others, I watched the TV programme on the Royal Mail Horizon scandal. I had known about the scandal, having worked with sub-postmasters and having listened to questions about it in Parliament. Despite that, I was still staggered at the extent and scale of the horror inflicted and the cover-up that followed.

Victims’ stories narrated in the documentary were tragic: lives ruined and lost; good people traduced and even imprisoned. Worse still was the institutional and corporate denial. Lies were told and power was abused – a conspiracy of silence; the little people thrown to the wolves, whilst those responsible milked the system.

It shocked me and I know it did constituents, as several wrote to me about it. The public outrage must also have shaken the Government as an email was received by all MPs the day after the first show aired.

It detailed all the steps being taken to address it and ensure justice – rightly so.

That’s only essential as it’s one of the worst cases of corporate abuse I’ve seen.

As a defence agent, I recall postal workers faced potential imprisonment simply for hiding mail and not delivering it. Stealing it almost certainly led to a custodial sentence. It was even harsher for sub-postmasters. The severity was felt essential to protect the integrity of the postal service.

What happened to Mr Bates and his colleagues affects the integrity of our judicial system and the rights of citizens to protection from corporate and institutional abuse.

All those wrongly convicted must be pardoned and suitably recompensed. More importantly, those who caused it need held to account and dealt with severely. Justice in our society demands no less.