Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has said she was forced to intervene over “difficulties” with Post Office governance by sacking its former chairman.

Badenoch refused to comment on whether there will be other departures from the board of directors.

Henry Staunton stepped down from his role on Saturday following the Horizon IT scandal.

She told broadcasters there needed to be a “change of personnel” and it “just wasn’t working” as the company remains under heightened scrutiny over the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of subpostmasters.

“It was very sad that we had to come to this conclusion… and one of the things that I think is important when we do need to have a change of personnel is that we don’t hound the people or go after them,” Ms Badenoch told Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips.

“The issues that the Post Office have go well beyond the Horizon scandal, so this wasn’t just about Horizon and the ongoing inquiry into the Post Office; it’s about the Post Office as an entity and the governance of it.

“There is a board, there have been disagreements across the board, and my view is that sometimes you just need a different person to deal with different issues.”

Mr Staunton stepped down as chairman of the state-owned business, having only been appointed in December 2022 following nine years as chairman of WH Smith.

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The Post Office prosecuted more than 700 branch managers between 1999 and 2015

Ms Badenoch said she had a phone call with him at the weekend and they had “parted ways with mutual consent”, but later added that she had asked him to go.

He had been tasked with leading the board of directors as the business reels from the fallout of what has been described as the UK’s biggest miscarriage of justice.

The Post Office prosecuted more than 700 branch managers between 1999 and 2015 after faulty Horizon accounting software made it look as though money was missing from their branches.

It comes at one of the most turbulent points in the company’s history, with a statutory inquiry into the saga underway and renewed public anger following its dramatisation in ITV’s Mr Bates vs The Post Office earlier this month.

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake said 980 postmasters were convicted but just 93 have managed to get their convictions overturned.