Sir Richard offers ‘nation’s hero’ Alan Bates a free luxury holiday

Post Office hero Alan Bates offered Virgin holiday
By Linsey McNeill
08/01/2024
Home » Sir Richard offers ‘nation’s hero’ Alan Bates a free luxury holiday

Virgin Atlantic has offered Alan Bates free Upper Class flights to a destination of his choice after the hero of the Post Office Horizon scandal said he would ‘love a holiday’.

And the Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has also offered accommodation on his private Caribbean island to both Alan and his partner Suzanne Sercombe, who helped the former sub-postmaster to expose a faulty accounting system used by the Post Office.

Shortly after Travel Gossip published this story, Virgin Voyage also offered Alan and Suzanne a seven-night Mediterranean cruise, departing from Barcelona, in one of its sea terrace cabins this year. 

The gift was announced to Alan and his partner on ITV’s This Morning.

Alan’s story has recently hit the headlines due to a new TV drama, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which tells the story of how more than 700 sub-postmasters were accused of wrongdoing based on information from the faulty Horizon system introduced in 1999 – and some were sent to prison.

In the drama, Alan is played by BAFTA-winning actor Toby Jones, pictured above (from Youtube).

In a recent interview for the Sunday Times about his more than 20-year battle with the Post Office, Alan said: “If Richard Branson is reading this, I’d love a holiday,” which was tweeted by former Sun Editor Kelvin MacKenzie.

Kelvin wrote on X/Twitter today: “Have just heard from his [Alan’s] people that Branson did indeed read it and has now offered Mr Bates and his partner of 30 years Upper Class return tickets to a destination of their choice.

“And further, he would be more than happy to put them up on Necker Island, his glorious private island in the Caribbean.

“A generous offer. Do hope Mr Bates, a hero to the nation, will accept.”

In a statement, Virgin Atlantic confirmed CEO Shai Weiss had read the newspaper article and offered Alan and his partner the free flights ‘to make sure they can enjoy a well-earned break’. It added: “Richard also read the piece and to complement the flights has kindly offered a luxury stay on Necker Island.”

Article updated 3.30pm on 8/01/2024

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