Covid PPE scandal that saw UK Government waste billions of pounds shows Westminster needs Scotland's lobbying laws – Angus Robertson MSP

It has been revealed that the UK Government paid over £120 million for personal protective equipment (PPE) worth £46 million at cost price from a company linked to Conservative peer Michelle Mone, who was appointed by the then Prime Minister David Cameron. This was a part of dealings with that company totalling over £200 million.

While Michelle Mone denies any wrongdoing, this is one of a string of allegations about the dodgy dealings of the UK Government in the procurement and purchase of PPE for the Covid pandemic via its ‘VIP lane’ for awarding pandemic contracts to well-connected companies.

In this case, leaks appear to show she lobbied the government for PPE Medpro to receive the contract.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What is more insidious is the fact that, after all the backdoor dealing to purchase the PPE, the equipment was deemed unusable by the NHS.

Unbelievably, in terms of total shambles of the UK Government’s purchase of PPE equipment, this isn’t even the end. Some £437 million was wasted on unusable PPE from all sources.

Read More
Covid Scotland: New record as Covid hospitalisations rise again

It doesn’t end there. In sum, this is relatively small fry. It turns out the UK Government has now spent £8.7 billion on PPE that failed to meet standards or was not used. The wastage is unimaginable.

In Scotland, lobbying rules are much tighter. By law, any organisation or individual wishing to speak to politicians has to sign up to the lobbying register and outline every meeting with an MSP, minister or civil servant and give details of any discussions.

The Covid pandemic created a huge demand for PPE for NHS workers (Picture: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Clearly, such a system is badly needed in Westminster and should be implemented in haste, with investigations into prior wrongdoing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.