Ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells arrives to give evidence at inquiry

Paula Vennells’ name is three letters shorter than it used to be.

She was awarded a CBE for services to the Post Office and to charity in the 2019 New Years Honours list.

This was immediately controversial to some, since hundreds of sub-postmasters had already launched legal action against the Post Office at the time. Amid mounting pressure, Vennells said she’d hand her CBE back in January 2024.

Then, in February, the Cabinet Office said she had been formally stripped of her CBE for “bringing the honours system into disrepute”.

The timing of this was no mystery.

Vennells announced she’d return her CBE less than a week after Mr Bates vs The Post Office finished airing on ITV, and one day after a petition, which called for the honour to be forfeited, reached one million signatures.

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