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£1k PPE pack sold by Clandeboyes to NHS fetches £5 in auction

A box of personal protective equipment (PPE) which was sold to the NHS by Clandeboyes, a Northern Ireland sweets wholesaler, that cost the taxpayer more than £1,000 during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has been sold on the open market for £5.

The BBC NI Spotlight programme tracked down the online sale while investigating what happened to PPE worth £107.5m, which was sold to the Department of Health and Social Care in Whitehall by Antrim-based confectionery company Clandeboye Agencies, which has been reported to have been on the VIP lane for procurement.

Barrister Jolyon Maugham QC is the director of the Good Law Project, a legal campaign group that first identified the existence of a VIP lane. Mr Maugham claimed the government had refused to say how the shipments were used by the NHS.

The BBC investigation revealed some of the items were not used by the NHS but sold on at much less a value than what the taxpayer had handed over. Some boxes were sold online for between £5 and £125, the cheapest one at just a fiver, sold by an auction house based in Stockport last March. The buyer got 250 items for their fiver, only slightly more than the £4.20 that the taxpayer paid for a single item less than a year earlier, the BBC reported.

Full story in the Belfast Telegraph, 14 December 2021

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