The New York Times analysis of the British government’s spending on PPE, ventilators, coronavirus tests and other supplies critical to containing the surge in virus infections, has found that the 1,200 central government contracts that have been made public are together worth nearly $22 billion. Of that, about $11 billion went to companies either run by friends and associates of politicians in the Conservative Party, or with no prior experience or a history of controversy. Meanwhile, smaller firms without political clout got nowhere.
The article notes that the wealthy former investment banker and Conservative Party grandee, Paul Deighton, who sits in the House of Lords, was acted as the government’s czar for personal protective equipment. Now eight months on, Lord Deighton has helped the government award billions of dollars in contracts –– including hundreds of millions to several companies where he has financial interests or personal connections.
Full story in The New York Times, 17 December 2020