Fury over HS2's contract with Fujitsu as 'project is coming off the rails'

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This image is an early representation of what the new HS2 trains could look like (Image: PA)
This image is an early representation of what the new HS2 trains could look like (Image: PA)

The controversial HS2 rail link is spending £1million with the IT firm blamed for blunders that sent innocent postmasters to jail.

Bosses at the beleaguered high-speed train project between London and the North – billions over budget and years late – have signed up Fujitsu to provide computer services.

A faulty IT system built by the Japanese firm ruined the lives of hundreds of Post Office workers when they were falsely blamed for accounting errors from 2000 to 2014.

Around 165 sub-postmasters were jailed and many lost their homes due to glitches in the Horizon software. The inquiry into the scandal this week heard Fujitsu staff were “complicit in a cover up” by dismissing complaints instead of investigating. The firm has also been awarded deals totalling over £550million with HMRC, the Home Office and other public bodies.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has called for a review of all government contracts with the company. Alan Bates, of the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance, said: “Fujitsu’s involvement with the High Speed rail link might explain why HS2 is coming off the rails.

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“You have to wonder what’s going on with the way the Government continually hands out contracts to Fujitsu.” An HS2 spokesman said the firm was on a list of government-approved suppliers, adding: “These IT services are totally different from the public-facing systems provided to the Post Office.” A spokesman for Fujitsu declined to comment.

Andrew Buckwell

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