Important Notice: this service will be discontinued by the end of 2024 because for multiple years now, Plume is no longer under active/continuous development. Sadly each time there was hope, active development came to a stop again. Please consider using our Writefreely instance instead.

Dominic Cummings' Pals no Competition Contract Award to be Heard in Court

Award of Covid-19 contracts are genuine public interest issues, says court. Tory government looses argument for second time.

We are pleased to say that the Court has granted a Cost Capping Order in our judicial review of Government’s decision to hand a contract to Cummings’ pals at Hanbury without any competition. We will now be able to fight this case to its conclusion.

Crucially, the Judge agreed with us that Government’s estimated costs bill of £450k (almost as much as the contract itself) is ‘disproportionate to a one day hearing’ – and set a cap at £120k for both parties.

Government’s decision not to consent to a cost cap is bizarre and  – many of the same arguments were determined by the Court weeks ago in relation to our PPE challenges. It has now tried and failed twice to argue that these are not public interest proceedings. And it has now twice had to bear from the public purse our costs of seeking a cap. This is a phenomenal – and avoidable – further waste of taxpayers’ money.

Here’s what the Judge had to say on Hanbury:

“I start by considering whether or not there is a matter of genuine public interest raised by these proceedings. I am satisfied that there is. This matter concerns the direct award of a public contract without publicity or competition, and the issue is whether it was unlawful to award a contract in that way.”

The Judge went on to say she is “satisfied that there is a part for the courts to play in determining the legality of the procedures” and “_it is appropriate that there should be a public hearing that the Court will consider the evidence and make a decision on the lawfulness of this particular procurement”. _

We will take this fight all the way. If you are in a position to donate to the legal challenge you can do so here: 

Thank you, 

Jolyon Maugham 
Director of Good Law Project

Good Law Project is able to carry out its work thanks to donations from thousands of people. If you are in a position to do so, you can make a donation here.