Leaked documents seen by Good Law Project set out special pathways by which “VIP” and “Cabinet Office” contacts could be awarded lucrative PPE contracts at the height of the pandemic – and at inflated prices.
Lord Bethell, a junior Health Minister, promised that “suppliers will be evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing.” But questions arose over how enormous contracts came to be awarded to dormant or new entities and those of dubious financial standing including:
* PPE Medpro won two contracts worth over £200m to supply PPE to the NHS. The £100 company, set up by the former business associate of Conservative peer Baroness Mone, won the contract just seven weeks after it was set up.
* SG Recruitment UK Limited, a staffing agency, won two PPE contracts worth over £50m, despite auditors raising concerns about its solvency. Tory Peer Lord Chadlington sits on the Board of its parent company, Sumner Group Holdings Limited.
* P14 Medical Limited, controlled by former Conservative Councillor Steve Dechan, who stood down in August this year, was awarded three contracts worth over £276m despite having negative £485,000 in net assets.
The leaked documents disclose that special procurement channels – outside the normal process – were set up for VIPs.Exposed: Special Procurement Channels for ‘VIPs’ and UK Cabinet Contacts