A WEST Linton postmaster has said a potential boycott of the Post Office after an ITV drama left viewers outraged, could cause more harm to postmasters' businesses.

A WEST Linton postmaster is calling on the public not to boycott the Post Office over a popular ITV drama.

ITV's drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which depicts the Horizon scandal, has seen a number of people calling for a boycott of the postal service over its treatment of staff and mismanagement of the scandal.

However, West Linton postmaster and NFSP (National Federation of Subpostmasters) chief executive Calum Greenhow believes a boycott would cause harm to postmasters' businesses.

He said: “I cannot be more delighted that the truth is finally being heard but saddened that it has taken 20 years of overcoming hurdles put in place by the leadership of this country and hundreds of millions of pounds of legal fees for that truth to finally come out.

“From experience, the general public are very empathetic towards us as postmasters, but they may not realise that by boycotting Post Office Ltd, they harm our businesses.

“It is important to ensure that the general public are very much aware that as small businesspeople we want to remain at the heart of communities, serve them and support them as we always do."

The NFSP has said that 98 per cent of post offices are privately owned businesses, adding that a boycott would have a negative impact on postmasters, but also the services available to customers, especially the most vulnerable in local communities.

The four-part series, starring Toby Jones, has seen the public outraged by the Horizon scandal – in which more than 700 postmasters around the UK were falsely accused of theft, fraud, and false accounting, leading to some staff convicted of these crimes and imprisoned.

Horizon – a computer system installed in the Post Office in 1999 – caused money to disappear from Post Office accounts over a period of 15 years.

In 2019 more than 500 postmasters and mistresses fought back against the charges and won a £43 million settlement plus legal expenses from the Post Office, making way for many to take their cases to the Court of Appeal.

In response to ITV's programme, the Minister for Postal Services Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, called for former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells to give back her CBE award.

Ms Vennells was the chief executive between 2012 and 2019.

She is set to be questioned later this year as part of the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry over her role during the scandal.