UK government fails to publish details of £4bn Covid contracts with private firms

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The government has failed to publish any information about £4bn of Covid-related contracts awarded to private companies, in what appears to be a continuing breach of UK law.

The gap was uncovered by campaign group the Good Law Project, which along with a cross-party group of MPs, is suing the health secretary, Matt Hancock, in the high court. They are accusing his ministry of an “egregious and widespread failure to comply with legal duties and established policies”.

The group is warning of a “transparency gap” and is pushing for an independent judge-led inquiry into the billions spent on personal protective equipment, medicines and virus testing and tracing since the pandemic began.

In a legal filing in the case, dated 30 October, government lawyers revealed that £17bn had been…

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