Court told ministers ‘lobbied’ officials over PPE contracts

A court has heard that ministers “lobbied” officials to chase the progress of contracts for the supply of personal protective equipment that were being processed through a government “VIP lane” for companies with personal connections.

In an internal WhatsApp message revealed as part of a legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project (GLP) and EveryDoctor, a civil servant supporting the government’s urgent PPE procurement efforts at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic said they needed a tracker system to check the progress of VIP offers.

If they had such a tracking system for PPE offers from companies referred by ministers, MPs or civil servants, the official said it would save the procurement team from “being lobbied further by ministers/VIPs etc and the like”.

Full story – The Guardian, 18 May 2021

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