Alan Bates, who led the campaign for justice in the Post Office Horizon scandal, says he will reject the compensation he has been offered by the government.
The former sub-postmaster, whose 20-year fight inspired the ITV series Mr Bates vs The Post Office, told The Daily Telegraph the offer was “offensive” and “cruel”.
The government confirmed plans for “full and fair compensation” to sub-postmasters affected by the scandal in 2022.
But Mr Bates said the compensation offer had been “around a sixth” of what he requested and told the newspaper: “‘Full and fair’ might be His Majesty’s government’s interpretation, but in reality the offer is derisory, offensive and after all this time, yes, cruel.
“I will absolutely be turning this offer for financial redress down.
“It’s just a terrible way to treat human beings – and I have heard from several sub-postmasters who have received similarly derisory offers, while others are still waiting.”
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He said the offer had been made on Wednesday, 111 days after his claim – prepared with the help of forensic accountants engaged by his lawyers – had been submitted.
Mr Bates added: “I have been in the queue along with all the others in the scheme, but if my case is an example of the way they are going to treat all cases, we may as well start looking at a legal action again and let the judiciary decide.”
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Post Office accused of cover-up Mr Bates was among more than 500 people who received an average of about £20,000 after a High Court ruling in 2019.
A government spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: “If any applicant to the GLO (Group Litigation Order) scheme feels that they are owed more than is being offered, we are happy to discuss the evidence with their legal advisers.
“If we can’t agree, decisions will be made by an independent panel that includes legal and accountancy experts, who ensure fair redress based on the evidence.”