A SOMERSET postmaster who says he shelled out his own money to make up for shortfalls in his Horizon system is set to leave the Post Office.

Christopher Dubery, of Dulverton Post Office, is one of several victims of the Post Office scandal who are struggling to sell their branches.

Subpostmasters looking to sell say growing awareness of the historic injustices has scared away potential buyers.

Mr Dubery will leave the branch in September after having it on the market for a year.

He said: “We’re partly not getting interest because of the scandal, but also because of remuneration being rubbish. 

''The money just isn’t there. Across west Somerset and north Devon, more than 14 branches have closed over the past 15 months.

''They’ve had enough. If I was looking to buy a post office now, that would put me off, irrespective of how much income I’d get.”

Some postmasters are struggling to sell after the Horizon scandal.Some postmasters are struggling to sell after the Horizon scandal. (Image: SWNS)

The challenges these subpostmasters have faced in finding a buyer means their local communities risk losing their only Post Office branch, Retail Express reports.

Graham Livesey, of the Beehive in Stavely, Cumbria, said his Post Office branch had been on the market since 2015 with no viewings. 

He stated the “main reason” the branch hadn’t sold is that “no one wants to run a post office anymore, with the Horizon scandal having taken the money”.

Graham added: “I can’t run a post office anymore after what PO did. 

''I know three branches in South Cumbria that recorded shortfalls, and a lot of little village branches have shut down and not successfully relocated.

“I had shortfalls. I declared and paid them back. I was hit by one massive shortfall, which I reported. PO told me I was the only one. Watching the recent ITV drama, you know what was going on behind the scenes.

“The business is marketed at a realistic price, and I haven’t even put the asking price up. PO is a toxic attachment.”

A PO spokesperson told Retail Express: “We’re saddened to hear that there are current postmasters who no longer want to operate a post office.

“We firmly believe customers recognise their value and are continuing to distinguish between PO’s appalling past behaviour in the Horizon scandal, and today’s postmasters, who are the lifeblood of their communities and provide essential services.”