Groans from public gallery as Paula Vennells addresses ‘grossly improper’ email at Horizon IT inquiry

Ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells followed a “grossly improper” suggestion to not review all subpostmaster prosecutions after her communications chief said it would end up “front page news”, the Horizon IT inquiry has heard.

The probe was shown an email exchange between Ms Vennells and then director of communications Mark Davies in July 2013 in which she said she would “take your steer” after he said looking at all past cases would be “in media terms… very high profile”.

The public gallery at the inquiry, made up of mainly subpostmasters, groaned loudly after Ms Vennells said she did not remember if she took the “advice of the PR guy” to review past prosecutions.