Luxe Lifestyle, a lifestyle company, was awarded a £25.8m government contract for PPE through the so-called VIP lane after the new Conservative chair, Greg Hands, was approached by a local Tory activist, new documents seen by The Good Law project suggest.
Luxe Lifestyle, a company trading in “specialised design activities”, had no published accounts at the time the contract was awarded, and did not appear to have a history of supplying PPE. It is understood Hands, then a trade minister, made a referral to officials in early April 2020 after a Conservative activist, Mark Higton, approached him about a contact offering PPE and other items. Leaked documents, obtained by the Good Law Project, later listed a PPE contract as “Minister Hands/Luxe Lifestyle” and the point of contact as “Mark Higton”, a former chair of a neighbouring constituency association.
A subsequent freedom of information request revealed that 9m items worth £20m provided by Luxe Lifestyle were labelled “do not supply” by the government, meaning they were not used.
Full story in The Guardian, 12 February 2023