// Morrisons non-executive director Paula Vennells quits in the wake of justice scandal
// Vennells also exited from her role as non-executive director at Dunelm
// She pocketed £89,000 in fees from Morrisons and £30,000 from Dunelm in the past year
Morrisons non-executive director Paula Vennells has exited from her role in the wake of the subpostmaster miscarriage of justice scandal.
Vennells is the former Post Office chief executive and was also a non-executive director at furniture retailer Dunelm.
Morrisons and Dunelm said Vennells would be leaving the roles, which include responsibilities for setting executive pay and upholding corporate responsibility.
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It comes after 39 sub-postmasters had their wrongful convictions for theft, fraud and false accounting overturned on Friday by the Court of Appeal.
Vennells has taken home £89,000 in fees from Morrisons and £30,000 from Dunelm in the past year.
“Paula has been an insightful, effective and hardworking non-executive director, and, on behalf of the board, I want to thank her for her significant contribution over the last five years,” Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson said.
“We respect Paula’s decision to step down from the board and I would like to thank her for the positive contribution she has made to the business since her appointment in September 2019,” Dunelm chairman Andy Harrisons said.
The moves came as the former Post Office boss said she is “truly sorry” for the “suffering” caused to subpostmasters who were wrongly convicted of offences.
Vennells said: “I am truly sorry for the suffering caused to the 39 subpostmasters as a result of their convictions which were overturned last week.
“It is obvious that my involvement with the Post Office has become a distraction from the good work undertaken in the Diocese of St Albans and in the parishes I serve.
“I have therefore stepped back with immediate effect from regular parish ministry, and intend to focus fully on working with the ongoing government inquiry to ensure the affected subpostmasters and wider public get the answers they deserve.”