Real-life Mr Bates fights back tears as he’s gifted lavish holiday following Post Office scandal

He became tearful!

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The real-life Alan Bates, who inspired the ITV drama Mr Bates VS The Post Office, received a lavish holiday from Richard Branson.

The 69-year-old was portrayed by actor Toby Jones in ITV’s recent drama. The series depicted the British Post Office scandal. The scandal has since been dubbed one of the “greatest miscarriages of justice” in British legal history. Alan Bates was at the heart of it and has since been tirelessly campaigning for two decades to get justice for subpostmasters.

Appearing on This Morning on January 8, Alan was told Richard had offered him a stay on his island.

Alan Bates and his wife on This Morning
Alan Bates looked emotional (Credit: ITV)

Alan Bates on This Morning

Hosts Craig Doyle and Josie Gibson revealed they’d been in touch with Richard Branson. They read out a letter Richard had written for Alan.

“Dear Alan, I did get a chance to read your moving interview in The Times, and we’d love to offer you and Suzanne a well earned holiday on Necker Island,” he wrote.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves a break more. Hopefully see you there. Best, Richard,” he then added. He also learned he and his wife would be getting a Mediterranean cruise and first-class return flights.

Visibly choked up, Alan said: “Thank you very much Richard! Much appreciated. Much needed, but very much appreciated.”

Viewers were delighted for Alan. “Aww I’m not crying you are. So well deserved for Mr Bates & his partner Suzanne. Hope they have an amazing time,” one fan tweeted.

Richard Branson
Richard gave Alan a surprise (Credit: Diary of a CEO / YouTube)

Alan Bates turned down an OBE

In other news, Alan also recently revealed why he turned down his OBE.

Due to his hard work and commitment, Alan was awarded an OBE. But it turns out he refused to accept it – and even felt “insulted” when he found out about it.

The Post Office scandal saw hundreds of innocent subpostmasters and postmistresses wrongly accused of theft, fraud, and false accounting. This was because of a defective IT system.

Due to that faulty IT system, 739 were prosecuted. Hundreds more lost livelihoods, homes, and life savings because they paid back the money the Post Office claimed was missing. Several even went to prison.

The cast of Mr Bates vs The Post Office
The ITV drama featured actor Toby Jones (Credit: ITV)

Mr Bates VS The Post Office on ITV

The recent four-part drama told the story of how in 2009, a group of subpostmasters across Britain decided enough was enough and formed the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance. And Alan was at the forefront of the group.

So much so, that Alan was recognised for his work in campaigning for justice for the people who were affected. But he has since revealed how he turned down the chance to be awarded an OBE from the British establishment.

Alan Bates on Good Morning Britain
Alan has turned down an OBE (Credit: ITV)

Real-life Mr Bates refused OBE

Speaking to the Mirror, Alan explained his reason for not wanting to become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

“The first thing that sprang to my mind while reading the letter was Paula Vennells still had a CBE. I felt so deeply insulted,” he said. Paula Vennells is the former Post Office boss whom many blame for the scandal. She was awarded a CBE back in 2019.

Alan went on: “She presided over a policy of harassing hundreds of innocent people. It’s not just that the Government hasn’t asked her to return it, what’s even worse is that despite knowing the strength of feeling about it, how people have suffered and some cases died on her watch – she doesn’t feel inclined to give it back.”

Mr Bates ‘insulted’ over OBE for Post Office Scandal campaigning

Alan also spoke out about not wanting the OBE during an episode of GMB last Tuesday (January 2).

He said: “I was offered an OBE but I’ve always said it’s not just about me. It’s about the whole group. But as far as myself goes I couldn’t accept it.”

Alan went on: “It would have been a slap in the face to the rest of the group because Paula Venells, the CEO for many years of Post Office, received a CBE for her services to Post Office. Well, what service has she actually done?”

Read more: Post Office issues apology following release of new ITV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office

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Joey Crutchley
Freelance Writer