A former Bolton sub-postmaster has signed the petition to strip the former Post Office boss from her CBE as it reaches a staggering one million signatures following a powerful ITV drama.

Mr Bates Vs The Post Office dramatises the scandal which affected hundreds of sub-postmasters.

Over the course of 14 years, more than 700 Post Office sub-postmasters were wrongly accused of – and some convicted of and even imprisoned for – theft, fraud and false accounting in their branches after faulty Fujitsu accounting software Horizon made it look like money was missing from their shops.

These accusations and prosecutions destroyed the lives of the innocent sub-postmasters who had to endure court trials, public humiliation, and huge personal financial losses, with the Post Office refusing to entertain the idea that the fault was with a new computer accounting system used in branches nationwide rather than with its staff.

Also read: Bolton actress add her signature to petition to strip ex-Post Office boss of honour

Subpostmaster from Bolton, Mohammed Amir said he signed the petition himself and thought former Post Office boss Paula Vennells should lose the honour which she received in 2019 for services to the Post Office.

He said: Mrs Vennells should definitely needs to get her honour taken off her.

“At an interview back at the inquiry, she would not give an answer to an MP, it’s a total shambles after everything that has gone on."

Horizon was introduced in 1999 by the Post Office and sub-postmasters noticed discrepancies that could not be explained, and were subsequently blamed for money going ‘missing.’

Demands for the Honours Forfeiture Committee to remove her CBE emerged again after the drama into the scandal, which has been described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history.

Ms Vennells oversaw the organisation while it routinely denied there were problems with its Horizon IT system.

The petition, which is addressed to Sir Chris Wormald, the chair of the Forfeiture Committee, says: “Evidence has been produced that the Post Office engaged in a mass cover up which led to the wrongful prosecution of 550 Post Office Staff many of whom were subsequently jailed, bankrupted and in some cases, sadly took their own lives.

“Having been handed a CBE for services to the Post Office, and moved out into other senior positions in government and healthcare, it is only right that this award is now withdrawn through the process of forfeiture.”

Asian Image: ITVITV (Image: ITV)

The former Bolton sub-postmaster has previously told The Bolton News of the heartbreaking impact the Post Office scandal has had on his life.

Asian Image: PAPA (Image: PA)

Mr Amir spoke at the inquiry in 2022 about the impact the ordeal had on his life after he noticed the computer highlight accounting issues at the Little Lever Post Office.

He said the helpline had provided little support during this time and throughout his time at the branches, paid in excess of £130,000.

He told the inquiry: “All three branches experienced shortfalls regularly.

“Most often, these were in shortfalls of £300-£400 each time and this occurred approximately four times per year.

“I would usually settle these straight away using my own cash.

Mr Amir is now waiting for compensation.

He said: “We have just been waiting for the last five to six years now.

“It was only a small compensation amount at the time but now it has gone on to High Court and the date has been extended.

Asian Image: A screen grab dated 17/02/22 from the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry of Mohammed Amir, who is a former subpostmaster. More than 700 subpostmasters and subpostmistresses (SPMs) were prosecuted between 2000 and 2014, based on information from the Horizon

Mr Amir said: “It is not just about compensation but about injustice."

He added: “I feel sorry for the people that were completely bankrupt and had nothing."

PM Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister shares the public’s feeling of outrage on this issue.

"He would strongly support the Forfeiture Committee if it chose to review the case.

“It is a decision for the committee, rather than the Government.”

The Metropolitan Police had already been looking into potential offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice in relation to investigations and prosecutions carried out by the Post Office.