UK: At least £150m wasted on unusable PPE, judicial review discovers

UK: At least £150m wasted on unusable PPE, judicial review discovers

Jo Maugham QC

At least £150 million has been wasted on unusable PPE procured from a company linked to government ministers, according to papers released through judicial review proceedings.

The Good Law Project, led by founder Jo Maugham QC, is pursuing litigation over the UK government’s “PPE fiasco” at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

In response to the proceedings, government officials have admitted that 50 million FFP2 masks purchased from Ayanda Capital Limited under a £252 million contract, for a price estimated at between £156 million and £177 million, “will not be used in the NHS”.

The remaining 150 million Type IIR masks purchased from Ayanda Capital require further testing and have not yet been released for use in the NHS, they added.

The deal with Ayanda was brokered by Andrew Mills, an adviser to Trade Secretary Liz Truss, who is also an adviser to the board of Ayanda. He is also the owner of Prospermill Limited, which was set to win the contract until Mr Mills suggested the government strike an agreement with Ayanda instead because Prospermill does not have “international payment infrastructure”.

The Good Law Project said: “Good Law Project and EveryDoctor has now issued three sets of judicial review proceedings in relation to the procurement of PPE – with a pest controller, a confectioner, and Ayanda/Prospermill.

“Not one of those contracts has resulted in any PPE yet being released for use in the NHS. The entirety of the PPE delivered under these three contracts is either untested or has already been found to be unusable.

“These are the facts – and they are not disputed. The more we scratch the surface of the PPE fiasco, the more shocking details that emerge. If we are to prevent more PPE failures and protect public funds, we need proper answers from this Government.”

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