Former post office workers celebrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London, after having their convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2021 (Yui Mok_PA)Former post office workers celebrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London, after having their convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2021 (Yui Mok_PA)


Newspaper links Inchcape boss who was Fujitsu’s UK head during Horizon scandal to £2.6m farewell payoff

  • Inchcape group CEO Duncan Tait was in charge of Fujitsu’s UK arm as Post Office software scandal raged
  • He backs public inquiry and says he’s ‘appalled by the harsh treatment of the subpostmasters’
  • The Guardian claims he was given £2.6m ‘compensation’ when he quit Fujitsu role
  • Was he the senior Fujitsu exec who told Post Office boss Horizon software was ‘like Fort Knox’, asks The Times?

Time 11:02 am, January 17, 2024

A national newspaper has linked current Inchcape boss Duncan Tait to a £2.6m payoff from Fujitsu during the Horizon software scandal.  

Tait, who was appointed group chief executive of Inchcape in July 2020, was head of the Japanese global technology services company in the UK from October 2009 to July 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He headed its UK & Ireland division from 2011 to 2014, then became senior executive vice-president and head of the Americas and EMEIA (Europe, the Middle East India and Africa) arm until he quit, having joined the Fujitsu board in 2015 – the first non-Japanese person to do so.

In what is seen as the UK’s biggest miscarriage of justice, thousands of subpostmasters and subpostmistresses were wrongly accused or convicted of fraud or theft between 1999 and 2015 because of the faulty Horizon software supplied by Fujitsu.

Some of them were jailed and many were ruined financially, while others even reportedly took their own lives as a result of the stress.

Duncan Tait via Inchcape website

Inchcape group CEO Duncan Tait was a top Fujitsu board member and head of its UK arm during the Horizon software scandal


Corporate filings for Fujitsu show that its former UK boss received £2.6m as ‘compensation for loss of office’ after standing down in 2019, reports The Guardian, which said it is believed the payment refers to Tait.

Fujitsu wouldn’t comment on why Tait left the company, but the 57-year-old told The Guardian: ‘I am appalled by the harsh treatment of the subpostmasters and fully support the public inquiry.

‘It would be inappropriate for me to comment ahead of this.’

He wouldn’t be drawn on the terms of the payment from Fujitsu either.

Meanwhile, Paula Vennells, who was CEO of the Post Office from 2012 to 2019, told a business committee of MPs in 2020 that she was assured by Fujitsu’s UK chief executive that Horizon was ‘like Fort Knox’, The Times reported.

She is now under mounting pressure to say who it was that made the bold assertion.

The Times said that the ex-CEOs from when Vennells was believed to be referring to had been contacted about it.

Vennells said last week she would be returning her CBE – awarded in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to the Post Office and to charity – in the wake of the backlash following the recent Toby Jones-starring ITV drama about the scandal, Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

A public inquiry was established in non-statutory form on September 29, 2020 and became a statutory inquiry on June 1, 2021.

Phase 1 – hearings about the human impact – took place between February and May 2022, and the inquiry has continued ever since.

The current phase is expected to end on February 2, with the final phases – redress, governance and recommendations – scheduled for this spring/summer and publication of the inquiry’s findings due late next year.

Today (Jan 17) it was reported that a national investigation into potential criminal offences linked to the scandal will take until 2026 at least.

Britain’s most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, told LBC an exhaustive investigation will have to take place to determine if crimes were committed.

Detectives will be trawling through tens of millions of documents, with the investigation following the public inquiry.

Pictured at top: Former post office workers celebrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice after having their convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2021 (Image: Yui Mok/PA)

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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