Are cronyism and corruption at the heart of this government?
By SW Wilts Lib Dems
Cronyism and corruption at the heart of this government seems to be becoming more and more apparent.
Today the Good Law Project have released details of their investigation that indicates a senior advisor to Liz Truss, Andrew Mills, registered a business for £100 and then the government apparently entered into a £252 million contract with them to purchase PPE despite the company seemingly having had absolutely no previous experience in these matters. It hadn't even filled any accounts.
It appears the government were prepared to offer the contract because this £100 brand new company that had never filled any accounts claimed to have "secured exclusive rights to the full production capacity of a large factory in China". The government was also prepared to bypass its normal procurement procedures to guard against waste and cronyism to buy its entire predicted pande mic based annual consumption of FFP2 facemasks from this one advisor/supplier.
This £100 company was so ill prepared it couldn't even take international payments, but no problem, a company registered in the tax haven of Mauritius, of which Mills says he is a senior board advisor, helped them out there, no doubt for a bit of the action.
"Ok" you say, but these were desperate times, at least the NHS got the PPE! ... Wrong! Not a single one of the FFP2 masks could be used by the NHS which the Good Law Project calculates cost the tax payer between £156 million and £177 million.
So how much profit will Mr Mills make from this? No one is sure but the profit margins for PPE sold to the government tend to be around 10% - 20%, in other words millions of tax payers pounds.
So to recap:
A senior advisor to Liz Truss set up a company for £100, secured a contract for £250 million for PPE, used a company where he says he is a senior board advisor registered in a tax haven for payments, then delivered FFP2 PPE that could not be used by the NHS because it does not meet the governments standards and in the process is likely to have made between 10% and 20% profit.
This is your money, this is the money people across Wiltshire and the rest of the country pay in tax, sanctioned by the government and apparently being siphoned off by people at the heart of this government for their own personal gain.
Read the Good Law Project thread here: https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600