THE CONSERVATIVE Government is being urged to explain the awarding of almost £2bn worth of contracts to firms linked to party members or donors.
Labour has written to several senior Conservatives about contracts given to 10 companies, including one based in Shetland, which have links to MPs, Conservative members or whose owners are Tory donors.
They have also written to the 10 companies asking for profit margin data, arguing it is essential for the public to assess whether the Government has spent taxpayer’s cash wisely.
One such firm is Globus (Shetland), which has given more than £375,000 to the Conservative Party since 2016. It was awarded a £93.7m contract in August 2020 to provide PPE.
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The demands come amid the judicial review into the awarding of a £500,000 contract to research firm Public First, which is run by friends of Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove.
The Prime Minister’s former senior adviser acknowledged yesterday that he had recommended the firm be appointed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however denied he did so because the owners were his friends.
It emerged previously that contracts were given without being put out to tender, and some applications were processed along a ‘VIP fast-track’ route, making them ten times more likely to be awarded the work than other companies.
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves and the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner have written to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and Chair of the Conservative Party Amanda Milling demanding they disclose details of any meetings that have taken place between the companies involved and government ministers, MPs, special advisors and others.
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They are also calling on the Conservative Party to tell the companies to publish their profit margins for contracts awarded by the government in order to “demonstrate to the British people that taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely and effectively”.
This information, along with details of the government’s VIP procurement fast lane should be published to “restore public confidence and address repeated concerns of cronyism”, according to the two Labour MPs.
In a letter to Ms Milling, Angela Rayner cited the firms the party was most concerned about, and detailed their links to the Tory party.
She claimed that Computacenter (UK) Limited, Globus (Shetland) Ltd , Medacs, Meller Designs, Ocean Footprint, P14 Medical Ltd, PA Consulting Services, PPE MedPro, Randox and Serco have links to Tory members or have donated to the party.
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Ms Rayner wrote: “I would urge the Conservative Party to encourage these companies to publish their profit margins for contracts awarded by the government in order to demonstrate to the British people that taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely and effectively and to enable taxpayers to scrutinise how their taxes are being spent by Ministers.
“In addition, I am writing to you today to ask you to provide details of any Conservative Party staff members, MPs, Ministers, special advisors, consultants or individuals that otherwise have links to the Conservative Party who have been present at any meetings – virtual or otherwise – with any of the ten companies listed in this letter, either in the context of them being awarded those contracts or in any other context over the last 12 months.”
The Cabinet Office has been contacted for a response.