AN MP SAYS accusations that she has "just joined the bandwagon" after bringing up Anglesey Post Office scandal victim in the House of Commons are "nonsense".

Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, brought up Anglesey's Noel Thomas -  one of more than 700 sub-postmasters convicted in the Post Office IT scandal - during a debate relating to the Horizon scandal in the House of Commons on January 10. The issue was recently thrown into spotlight following ITV's four-part drama - Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

Ms Crosbie said during the debate: "Noel Thomas, one of my constituents, was a former sub-postmaster who was wrongly convicted. 

“His conviction for false accounting in 2006 was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2021. How is my honourable friend ensuring that sub-postmasters such as Noel Thomas, across the UK, are heard, supported, recompensed, recognised and, most importantly, exonerated? Will the Minister meet Noel Thomas, should he wish that to happen?”

In reply, Kevin Hollinrake, minister responsible for the Post Office, said: “I would be delighted to meet Noel Thomas. A key part of the excellent dramatisation 'Mr Bates vs The Post Office' and of 'Mr Bates vs The Post Office: The Real Story', which sits behind it and which people can also watch, features Mr Thomas. 

“His story was incredibly moving and anybody who saw it would be moved by it, so of course I will meet him. I am keen to ensure that he gets not only the apology he deserves, but the redress he deserves, and I am sure we can discuss that when we meet. 

“The Government is keen to make sure that the compensation schemes work as effectively as possible, to make sure that Mr Thomas gets the compensation he needs and he is able to move on with his life."

After Ms Crosbie confirmed Noel had been offered a meeting with Mr Hollinrake, Mr Thomas's daughter, Sian Vaughan Thomas, asked the MP to "stop putting this on social media" about her father, adding that the family were finding it "very upsetting".

She said: "Virginia Crosby [sic] may I please ask who you are, I never met you, dad apparently met you once a few years ago, and you never acknowledges that meeting, could you please stop putting things on social media about Noel my dad, we are finding it very upsetting. Diolch Thomas family."

Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, also brought up Mr Thomas's plight - prior to Ms Crosbie, during the debate.

She said: "Former Plaid Cymru councillor Noel Thomas’s 16-year quest for justice has had enormous repercussions for him and his family. He faced imprisonment, bankruptcy and the loss of his home. He describes his nine months in prison as 'hell on earth'. Noel’s story has also had repercussions throughout North-West Wales.

"I know of people who will not work on post office counters. That has meant that some communities have lost their post offices. Not only have individuals suffered agony, but communities have lost essential facilities."

Speaking about accusations she has faced since bringing up the matter in the House of Commons and the post by Mr Thomas's daughter, Ms Crosbie said: "This is nothing more than a politically motivated attack. Even by Plaid Cymru’s usual standards of hypocrisy this is a new low.

"It is perfectly legitimate for me to ask a minister if he would meet one of my constituents following such a terrible scandal. I was doing my job. If I had not, I would probably have been criticised for doing nothing.

"Accusations I have just joined the bandwagon are nonsense too. I spoke about this issue in parliament and mentioned Mr Thomas back in 2021. There was no Plaid organised outcry then.


"I find it particularly hypocritical that no-one is accusing Liz Saville Roberts of joining the bandwagon when she mentioned Mr Thomas in parliament just minutes before me, and he is not even her constituent.

"That Mr Thomas’s family do not want me to mention him again is fine. I have not mentioned him or posted on social media about him since the family asked me not to do so. He now has the invitation to meet with a minister that I secured. If he doesn’t want to do so, then that is his decision.

"I wish him and his family the very best."

Mr Thomas, portrayed in the ITV drama by actor Ifan Huw Dafydd, spent 13 weeks under lock and key in Kirkham Prison in Lancashire for a crime he did not commit. He describes his time there as “difficult”.

As a former member of Anglesey Council, many councillors sympathised with Mr Thomas and supported him, even writing to him in prison, but he and his family were also abandoned by many.