Following Dominic Cummings’ admission that he was involved in the decision to award a £500,000 contract without putting it out to tender, the SNP has said the whole thing reeks of “corruption” and the “cronyism” at the heart of Westminster must be stamped out.
Reports reveal that during the legal challenge against the UK government over the Public First Contract, Boris Johnson’s former adviser admitted he played a key role in the decision to award a government contract of over half a million to the research company run by his and Michael Gove’s friends.
This follows a series of revelations that the UK government has awarded billions of taxpayers’ money to companies linked to the Conservative Party during the coronavirus pandemic – including a National Audit Office report revealing a lack of transparency and adequate documentation of UK government procurement decisions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK government is spending up to £600,000 of the public purse defending the contract in the High Court.
Commenting, Cabinet Office spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP (pictured) said:
“This whole thing reeks of corruption and proves that Westminster is rotten to the core.
“The cronyism at the heart of this Tory government must be stamped out.
“When they’re not handing out government contracts to their pals without any scrutiny, they’re covering up secret independence polling conducted at taxpayers’ expense.
“There must be a full public inquiry into this scandal – the public deserve answers as to why billions of pounds of their money has been spent on ‘jobs for the boys’, and then on defending these bad decisions.
“The UK government should not have to be dragged through the courts to make them do the right thing at a cost to taxpayers’ of over half a million pounds.
“My colleague Owen Thompson’s Bill would help put an end to the Tory practice of handing out government contracts like sweeties by forcing UK Ministers to publicly declare their connections in parliament to anyone getting a big money deal on the public purse.
“I would urge all MPs to get behind this Bill.
“However, despite the efforts of the SNP to stamp out the cronyism in Westminster – it is clear that it is broken beyond repair.
“The best future for Scotland is to build a fairer society as an independent country inside the EU.”