Friday, 7 August 2020

"English" Government need to answer questions over contracts given during virus.

The News that Fifty million masks that were meant to be used by the NHS now cannot be worn by staff because of safety issues, the government has admitted  is disturbing for obvious reasons , but also because those reporting it fail to clarify that this is in England and Wales and England sourced Masks from elsewhere.

For instance the Independent  reports that

The FFP2 masks ordered by the government have ear loops instead of head loops, meaning there is a risk they would not be secure enough.

The masks were supplied by Ayanda Capital, which was awarded a £252m contract to supply personal protective equipment (PPE). The government is now being sued by EveryDoctor and Good Law Project over its decision to award the private family fund the contract.
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It was also revealed in a legal document, sent to EveryDoctor and Good Law Project by the government, that the deal was arranged by Andrew Mills, an adviser to the Board of Trade in the Department for International Trade, on behalf of Tim Horlick, CEO of Ayanda Capital.

Mr Horlick said Mr Mills was a business associate and he was aand his experience in international business and sales”.sked to help the firm “given his relationship with the Department for Interna 

Mr Mills previously held senior leadership positions in businesses including Samsung, IBM, HP and KPMG, said the document.

The government insisted that “appropriate due diligence” was undertaken on Ayanda Capital and the Chinese factories it used to manufacture the PPE, and “the company’s track record indicated it would be capable of fulfilling a large order of medical masks”.

Jolyon Maugham, director of Good Law Project, said the organisation wrote to the government regarding three contracts, each worth over £100m, awarded to a pest control company, a confectioner and Ayanda Capital.

“Each of those contracts has revealed a real cause for alarm – including, on Ayanda, that around £150m was spent on unusable masks. What other failures remain undiscovered?” she said.

No where in this report does it mention this is in England the English NHS and the English (in this case) government 

Julia Patterson, founder of EveryDoctor, added: “It is horrifying that during the worst criss in the NHS’s history, the government entrusted large sums of public money in the hands of companies with no experience in producing safe PPE for healthcare workers.

“I run a network of 25,000 UK doctors. Many were fearful for their lives between March and June ... We cannot allow bad decision-making to jeopardise the lives of healthcare workers and the public.
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“The government must be answerable to their decisions regarding these PPE contracts.”

The government said in a statement: “Throughout this global pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the frontline.

“Over 2.3 billion items have been delivered, and more than 30 billion have been ordered from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply which meets the needs of health and social care staff both now and in the future.

“There is a robust process in place to ensure orders are of high quality and meet strict safety standards, with the necessary due diligence undertaken on all government contracts.”

There is a growing concern that in in England in particular   there  are questions about cronyism and profiteering , that the Tory Government ar favouring their friends in awarding contracts that are not met or as in the above case delivering unsuitable product and especially links to those awarded  contracts met or not 

Indeed it is proving a moment of sheer hypocricy from the Tories that   that in Scotland Profits made by the SNP from controversial branded face masks will go to charity, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scottish Tory deputy leader Annie Wells branded it a “tasteless venture” and also wrote to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, who is also the First Minister’s husband.

In her letter, Ms Wells urged the party to donate any money made from the coverings to “causes fighting coronavirus”.

he claimed profits were being made by the SNP over a public health measure put in place by Ms Sturgeon, which mandated the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport.

On the SNP official website, the party has been selling face masks for £8 and face coverings for £14, branded with SNP logos and saltires.

After her statement at Holyrood on Thursday when she announced the reopening of schools, the First Minister was challenged by Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw over the practice during a heated exchange over the politicisation of the pandemic.

In a row over the efficacy of statistics used by the First Minister, Mr Carlaw said: “I think the First Minister has to be very careful when she talks about playing politics, when she as the leader and the chief executive of her party (Mr Murrell) profiteer from coronavirus by producing party political face masks to raise funds for the SNP

In response, the First Minister said: “I will continue to do everything to persuade people to wear face coverings and in terms of my party, every penny of profit made will go to charity, actually.”

It is not known which charity will receive the donations from the SNP.

In her letter to Mr Murrell, Ms Wells said: “I’m sure you are aware that by selling these face masks you stand to profit, both financially and politically, from a public health measure imposed by your own party.

“I would therefore urge you to stop this immediately, and as a gesture of good will, donate the proceeds to causes fighting coronavirus.”

A spokesman for the SNP said: “Like all those with similar products, we’re encouraging our supporters to wear a face covering and to help suppress the virus.

“As the First Minister has made clear, all profits will go to charity.”

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