Cronyism in the UK

In December 202o the New York Times ran a major story

Meg Hillier, Chair of the powerful Public Accounts Committee, “The government had license to act fast because it was a pandemic, but we didn’t give them permission to act fast and loose with public money,”

The NYTimes reported with some powerful graphics

The NYT article is interactive and needs to be visited to access it. Here

The NYT estimates that about £5bn went to politically connected companies and they have a VIP Lane graphic.
£6bn went to companies with no prior experience
£5bn awarded to companies with histories of controversy

Tussell maintains a database of COVID-19 UK Government Contracts & Spending

The Guardian ran a major expose 15 November 2020

The Good Law Project has sought judicial review to hold the government to account for its management of contracts

22nd February 2021
“In an attempt to defend its costs bills, Government has stated that in the last ten years at least 126 judicial reviews have cost over £100k. This may be true. Yet they fail to explain that between 2010-201910,692 judicial reviews were granted permission. In other words, judicial reviews that have cost over £100k represent a tiny fraction of all judicial reviews brought in this period.

Notably, Government makes no attempt to explain how many judicial reviews have cost £1 million.

Nor do we know why its costs for the three procurement judicial reviews brought by Good Law Project for which we know the costs (two of which were one-day hearings) are for more than £200k, more than £500k, and £1 million.

But you might think it has something to do with the types of points we are making. Last Monday, our case against Michael Gove showed that Dominic Cummings awarded a lucrative public contract to those he admitted were his ‘friends’. Last Friday, the High Court ruled Government had acted unlawfully by failing to publish details of COVID-19 contracts.

And our judicial review of PPE contracts has already generated an admission from Government that it purchased £155m worth of facemasks that can’t be used by the NHS, fuelling countless newspaper headlines in the UK and around the world and prompting repeated scrutiny in the House of Commons. And it will get right to the heart of the highly troubling VIP lane largely populated by Ministerial contacts. And all of this before the case even reaches court.” more


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