Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”Every single [PPE] bid that went through the [VIP] route went through exactly the same eight-stage process as all the other contracts”

Neil O'Brien, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DHSC, House of Commons

Facts

Of these 394 contracts,115 were awarded to 51 ‘VIP lane’ suppliers: suppliers suggested by government officials, ministers’ offices, members of Parliament, senior NHS staff and other health professionals.

Forty-six of the 115 contracts awarded to VIP lane suppliers did not go through the eight-stage due diligence process that was later implemented by the Government, as these contracts were awarded before May, 2020.

Verdict

Not all VIP lane referrals went through the same due-diligence process as other bids. That is why the High Court found it unlawful, with Judge Finola O’Farrell concluding that “the operation of the High Priority Lane was in breach of the obligation of equal treatment.” Neil O’Brien was misleading the Commons. He has yet to correct the record, meaning that he is in breach of the Ministerial Code.

We emailed Neil O’Brien’s office and the DHSC offering them chance to respond and asking “Please note we state that you misled the House of Commons when you said “Every single [PPE] bid that went through the [VIP] route went through exactly the same eight-stage process as all the other contracts”. We would be very interested in receiving any comments you may have on our observation.”

The email was received, but no reply.

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