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A TORY adviser is on the board of a firm that pocketed millions through a government contract to supply PPE to healthcare workers while wasting at least £150 million buying the wrong masks, say legal campaigners
Health officials signed a £252m contract to buy masks from Ayanda Capital in April in a deal brokered by government adviser Andrew Mills — who is also a senior adviser on the company’s board.
The firm subsequently made between £25m and £50m from the transaction, according to the Good Law Project.
The deal drew heavy criticism from the We Own It campaign today. Director Cat Hobbs said: “This latest revelation exposes the total farce at the heart of the government’s handling of PPE.
“But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The whole system of sourcing PPE is broken from top to bottom.
“The privatisation of the NHS supply chain has been a costly mess, leaving us with a chaotic mish-mash of private contractors managing the purchasing processes.
“It's a key part of the story of how earlier this year our key workers faced major PPE shortages.”
Ms Hobbs urged the government to end the privatisation of NHS supply chain and ensure a fit-for-purpose procurement system “where we stop seeing nonsense like this.”
Labour demanded an inquiry into the government’s failings today. Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the case for watchdog the National Audit Office to investigate the government’s mishandling of PPE is “overwhelming.”
Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: “Every day seems to bring another story that shows the absurdity of the government's outsourcing strategy.
“[It has] serious questions to answer about dodgy coronavirus contracts, especially given that it chose to overlook many UK textile companies at the start of the pandemic.”
A government spokesman said there is a process in place to ensure orders are high quality and meet strict safety standards, “with the necessary due diligence undertaken on all government contracts.”
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