Tony Blair today refused to answer any questions on the Horizon scandal and whether he regretted not ‘killing’ the software when his Labour government had the power to do so.
The former prime minister was warned in 1998 the software could be ‘flawed’ but allowed for it to be rolled out.
It would go on to play a central role in wrongfully convicting more than 700 subpostmasters when it imagined thousands of pounds worth of missing money, causing decades of anguish and anger in what has been described as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in UK history.
Today Mr Blair remained tight-lipped and did not utter a single word as he was repeatedly asked about his decision not to put an end to the Fujitsu project.
ITV business and economics editor Joel Hills repeatedly attempted to talk with Mr Blair about the scandal as he walked along the street, asking him if he regretted not ditching the Horizon system.
Mr Blair was flanked by a security guard as he continued to walk, at times with his head bowed, ignoring any questions.
He was then asked why he did not ‘kill’ the Fujitsu project and if he felt responsible at all for what unfolded.
Mr Blair remained stoic and silent until he bumps into his former chancellor Gordon Brown where he breaks into a smile and chuckles as he exchanges a few words before tapping him on the arm.
It came on the day when more revelations were made at the Post Office inquiry which are set to enrage the nation even further, while the government has also demanded sit-down talks with the tech giant over its contribution to compensation for postmasters.
The inquiry heard Audit Record Query (ARQ) data – which recorded transactions made by subpostmasters – was ‘manipulated from its original source’ and presented to the Post Office in a ‘filtered’ format before they used it in criminal proceedings.
The inquiry heard the filtered format was missing ‘reference data’ which contains information about what a Post Office counter can sell, how much it would sell it at and the steps taken during transactions.
Counsel to the inquiry Jason Beer KC asked John Simpkins, a Fujitsu employee working in its software support centre, how audit data was extracted before it was handed to the Post Office.
The counsel to the inquiry said: ‘Did you understand that audit data, ARQ data, was extracted by Fujitsu and presented to the Post Office, it was presented in a filtered format?’