Post Office inquiry hears from former in-house lawyer

Inquiry counsel Blake now runs through Susan Crichton’s CV. This part can often go on for some time, so bear with us.

“You were the Post Office’s first head of legal?” Blake asks.

“It was badged that way,” Crichton says. “It was formerly part of the Royal Mail team. This was part of a process of separation from the Royal Mail.”

Blake asks Crichton if she had a direct reporting line to chief executive Paula Vennells. Crichton says she did.

Inquiry counsel Blake moves on to ask if Crichton was assigned responsibility for the security team in 2012, to which she replies: “Yes”.

She tells Blake she was “starting to think about and look at culture of the Post Office at the time”.

“There was a view we should re-look at security and its role within organisation,” she says.

“From July 2013 until your departure, you were called general counsel?” Blake asks. “That’s correct,” Crichton confirm.