In a week when we learned the Tories have more than doubled the national debt to £2 trillion, a mere £500 million might not seem much.
It’s around 1/200th, or half a per cent, of the total they’ve borrowed since 2010.
But this is money they have spent in the last six months alone – on contracts with companies run by their personal friends… that have apparently done nothing useful in return.
According to the Labour Party, 13 firms run by friends of Tory ministers have won contracts related to Covid-19, without having to go through a competitive tendering process.
Here’s what they’ve done with the money:
One firm, Randox, received £133million for Covid testing.
It pays Tory MP and former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson £8,333 a month as an adviser.
Earlier this month, 750,000 unused Randox testing kits were recalled over safety concerns.
How about the Serco ‘test and trace’ fiasco?
“I was hired at the end of May… In 12 weeks I have not made a single call despite working 42 hours a week for £10.12 an hour."
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) August 21, 2020
Serco is paid £108million for running the national contact-tracing service and nearly £46million by the DWP to run call centres.
Health minister Edward Argar was a senior executive and boss Rupert Soames is brother of former Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames.
In November 2019, Rupert Soames’ wife Camilla donated £4,995 to the Tory Party.
Here are the other firms mentioned in the Mirror article:
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which won seven contracts, hired Theresa May’s former top aide Gavin Barwell as a strategic adviser in January.
He is also a non-executive adviser at Arcadis – which was given a £1.5million consultancy contract with the Ministry of Justice in April.
Public First Ltd gets £840,000 to run focus groups for No10. It is owned by James Frayne, who started the New Frontiers think tank in 2003 with Dominic Cummings.
Dragontown Ltd was awarded a contract worth £675,000 to supply PPE to London’s Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Lady Xuelin Bates, a director of this firm, is the wife of Tory peer and former minister Lord Bates and has donated £30,000 to the Tories.
If we had anything to show for this emptying of the public purse, there might be some justification for these contracts – but we don’t.
This is nepotism intended to further enrich the undeserving while bankrupting the nation.
Expect Boris Johnson to demand that, now he and his spendthrift mates have run up a huge debt, you have to pay it off.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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