CONOR McGinn, the MP for St Helens North, has called for a public inquiry into the Post Office Horizon scandal after 39 former subpostmasters had their names cleared in court this week.

At a hearing last month, the court heard subpostmasters’ lives were “irreparably ruined” as they lost their jobs, homes and marriages after they were prosecuted by the Post Office – which knew the Fujitsu-developed IT system had “faults and bugs from the earliest days of its operation”.

Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Mr Justice Picken and Mrs Justice Farbey, said the Post Office “knew there were serious issues about the reliability of Horizon” and had a “clear duty to investigate” the system’s defects.

But the Post Office “consistently asserted that Horizon was robust and reliable”, and “effectively steamrolled over any subpostmaster who sought to challenge its accuracy”, the judge added.

Thirty-nine former subpostmasters who were convicted and even jailed for theft, fraud and false accounting had their names cleared by the Court of Appeal on Friday.

Speaking to the Star, Mr McGinn, the Labour MP, said: “Today’s (Friday's) ruling is a decisive victory for justice, fairness and common decency here in our country.

“However, the work goes on to clear the names of all sub-postmasters in St Helens North and nationwide, whose lives were totally upended by this horrific scandal.

“I will keep pressing for a full and proper inquiry to uncover how this gross miscarriage of justice was ever allowed to happen, and to deliver justice for all victims.”

Former subpostmasters whose names have finally been cleared said the fight for justice against the Post Office over the Horizon scandal will continue.

After the ruling was delivered at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, former subpostmasters whose convictions were overturned called for a public inquiry into the scandal which “destroyed” people’s lives.

Many now plan to seek compensation from the Post Office to cover the money they lost as a result of their convictions, as well as damages for malicious prosecution.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates potential miscarriages of justice, has encouraged any other former Post Office employees to consider challenging their convictions following the ruling.

And Neil Hudgell, who represented 29 of the former subpostmasters who were cleared, said his firm filed a further 34 appeals against convictions on Thursday and has another seven clients waiting in the wings.

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The Communication Workers Union called for criminal investigations into senior Post Office figures who “oversaw the criminalisation of hundreds of postmasters”.

Andy Furey, CWU’s national officer for postmasters, said: “The CWU is so glad that this long legal struggle has been won. But this isn’t the end of it.

“Alongside appropriate financial compensation for all the victims of this injustice, there must be acknowledgement of the aggressive, despicable way that senior Post Office directors treated their loyal employees.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hudgell said in a statement: “The Post Office still appears to care little about the people whose lives it has destroyed.

“Ultimately, it has been found to have been an organisation that not only turned a blind eye to the failings in its hugely expensive IT system, but positively promoted a culture of cover-up and subterfuge in the pursuit of reputation and profit.

“They readily accepted that loss of life, liberty and sanity for many ordinary people as a price worth paying in that pursuit.”

Mr Hudgell said the “scandal” of the prosecution of subpostmasters “will only deepen should those involved not now finally face a fiercely-run investigation into how these prosecutions were conducted, what exactly was known as to the unreliability of the Horizon system when it was being used to ruin people’s lives, and whether people acted in a criminal manner”.

He called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce a “judge-led public inquiry”, with the power to summons witnesses, into the prosecutions of subpostmasters.

Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow business secretary, also called for “a proper inquiry with teeth to get the bottom of how this scandal can have happened and who was responsible – to deliver the justice those impacted need and deserve”.

Speaking on a visit to a farm in Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire, on Friday, Mr Johnson welcomed the Court of Appeal’s ruling, and said that “we’ll have to make sure that people get properly looked after”.

Post Office chairman Tim Parker said in a statement: “The Post Office is extremely sorry for the impact on the lives of these postmasters and their families that was caused by historical failures.

“Post Office stopped prosecutions soon after its separation from Royal Mail a decade ago and has throughout this appeals process supported the overturning of the vast majority of convictions.

“We are contacting other postmasters and Post Office workers with criminal convictions from past private Post Office prosecutions that may be affected, to assist them to appeal should they wish.”

Nick Read, Post Office chief executive, said: “The quashing of historical convictions is a vital milestone in fully and properly addressing the past as I work to put right these wrongs as swiftly as possible, and there must be compensation that reflects what has happened.”