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HomeNewsEx-subposmaster blasts 'buffoonery' of Ed Davey's stunt-filled election campaign

Ex-subposmaster blasts ‘buffoonery’ of Ed Davey’s stunt-filled election campaign

A former subpostmaster hit out at the “buffoonery” of Sir Ed Davey‘s stunt-filled general election campaign.

Lee Castleton, who lost his livelihood in the Post Office Horizon scandal, said trust would not be rebuilt by “swinging around on ropes or paddleboarding in Cumbria”.

The Lib Dem leader has come under fire for not doing more to help wrongly convicted subpostmasters between 2010 and 2012 when he served as postal affairs minister in the coalition government.

Mr Castleton told the BBC‘s Sunday Morning With Laura Kuenssberg: “I don’t particularly like the buffoonery, I find it very Boris-esque and I don’t think there’s any need for it.

“It’s really, really, really important that we trust him and trust is never going to be built by swinging around on ropes or paddleboarding in Cumbria. Trust is about engaging with the people that need that engagement.”

Sir Ed, who has previously apologised for failing to see through the Post Office’s “lies”, insisted he is taking voters’ concerns seriously during a campaign in which he has visited a theme park and fallen into the water while paddleboarding.

He said: “On the subpostmasters, my heart goes out to Lee and all the others so badly affected and I’m looking forward to giving evidence to the inquiry, which I campaigned for to hold people to account.

“But in terms of the things we’ve been doing, the stunts, actually the real issue is engaging people and they have done.”

He added: “We’re taking the voters’ concerns really seriously.

“That’s why we’ve put forward all these policy proposals and whenever we do one of those stunts to engage people – so I show that I’m not taking myself too seriously, I’m taking the voters seriously – we’ve had lots of policy ideas.

“So when I was going down that slide, we were talking about mental health.”

Mr Castleton, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, was found to have a £25,000 shortfall at his branch in 2004 and was made bankrupt after he lost his legal battle with the Post Office.

More than 700 subpostmasters were prosecuted by the Post Office and handed criminal convictions between 1999 and 2015 as Fujitsu’s faulty Horizon IT system made it appear as though money was missing at their branches.

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