Government’s use of ‘VIP lanes’ for PPE not only ‘dodgy’ but ‘illegal’ – Rainer


Labor deputy leader Angela Rainer has said the government’s so-called VIP lanes for personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts were not only “dodgy” but “illegal”.

During Cabinet Office questions in the House of Commons on Thursday, Ms Rainer pressed Cabinet Office minister Steve Barkley over the High Court’s decision that Lane’s use of the government to award contracts worth several million pounds was illegal.

Ms Rayner said: “The government’s VIP lane for PPE purchases was not just monotonous, it was actually illegal. It was not my opinion, but a High Court verdict yesterday.”

Officials searched online only to confirm the existence of one company and the other got a red alert, but it was not pursued.

The Labor deputy leader said Cabinet Office ministers stood over the dispatch box “time and time again” for what they called a “detailed due diligence and full financial investigation”, but on Wednesday the court “found that the Cabinet Office did not have the necessary resources”. “To do the due diligence”.

She continued: “The executives only searched online to confirm the existence of one company and the other got a red alert but it was not passed. Can he tell us how much of those two contracts on those devices alone? were spent that weren’t even used by the NHS?”

Mr Barkley dismissed Ms Rainer’s claims as he argued the government pressurized “every sin” to provide PPE.

He said: “The court accepted, bidding, that it is highly unlikely that the results would have been significantly different had a different evaluation process been followed.

“I think the House would have challenged the government, first, if there was something different, if there was a different point of view, and second, on the fundamental point, which is at a time of national crisis, whether the government is in every vein to ensure that But our NHS-doctors have the PPE they need. The government did it.”

The Good Law Project and campaign group EveryDoctor took legal action on nearly Ā£600 million of contracts awarded to pest control firm Pestfix and hedge fund Ayanda Capital at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

After the High Court was told that a VIP lane was reserved for referrals from MPs, ministers and senior officials, campaigners argued the government “preferred suppliers including Pastefix and Ayanda because of who they knew, not what they delivered.” could do”.

In a ruling on Wednesday, Mrs Justice O’Farrell said the use of the lane, officially known as a high priority lane, was illegal.