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Government decision to award contract to Dominic Cummings’ friend ‘was unlawful’

Dominic Cummings
Former top adviser Dominic Cummings denied he wanted contracts handed to friends (Picture: PA)

A Government decision to award a £560,000 contract to a company whose bosses were friends of adviser Dominic Cummings was unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled.

The Cabinet Office paid more than half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money to market research firm Public First during the first Covid wave.

The company is run by husband and wife James Frayne and Rachel Wolf, who previously worked with Mr Cummings and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

Both Mr Cummings and the Government denied accusations of favouritism.

But Mrs Justice O’Farrell said today the move ‘gave rise to apparent bias’ following a virtual High Court hearing in February.

The director of the Good Law Project, the campaign group that took legal action against the Cabinet Office, has claimed Boris Johnson’s Government is ‘not a Government for the public good’.

Following the ruling, Jo Maugham said: ‘It is Government for the good of friends of the Conservative Party.

Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, giving evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, where he was pressed about the level of preparedness in Government for the Covid-19 outbreak in February and March 2020 after Dominic Cummings, former chief adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, gave evidence to the joint inquiry of the Commons Health and Social Care and Science and Technology Committees yesterday. Picture date: Thursday May 27, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Cummings. Photo credit should read: House of Commons/PA Wire
Michael Gove had previously worked Public First (Picture: PA)

‘We just don’t understand how the Prime Minister can run a Cabinet that acts without proper regard for the law or value for public money.

‘Government has claimed there was no favouritism in the awarding of contracts.

‘But the High Court has held an informed observer would conclude otherwise.’

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