Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Editor’s Pick

Lords standards watchdog investigates Tory Peer Lord Chadlington over ‘VIP’ PPE contracts

The House of Lords standards commissioner has launched an investigation into a Conservative peer for potentially breaching financial conduct rules, relating to the award of £50m of government contracts for supplying PPE during the Covid pandemic.

Peter Selwyn Gummer, who has sat in the upper house as Lord Chadlington for 26 years, recommended to the government a company that was part of a group in which he was a director and shareholder.

Gummer’s fellow Tory peer, Lord Feldman, who was working for the Department of Health and Social Care as an unpaid adviser, referred SG Recruitment to the “VIP lane” for politically connected companies, and it was awarded two PPE contracts.

The first, for £23.9m, awarded in April 2020, was for the supply of coveralls; the second, for £26.1m to supply hand sanitiser, was awarded the following month. At the time, Gummer was a director and shareholder of the parent company, Sumner Group Holdings. Earlier this month he updated his Lords register of interests to state that he ceased to be a director of the company in July 2021 but he remains a shareholder.

SG Recruitment was a small company before the pandemic, which worked to recruit nurses and other healthcare professionals to the NHS. The award of £50m of PPE contracts appears to have transformed its financial fortunes; in the year to 31 March 2020 the company turned over less than £500,000.

The Lords standards watchdog announced on Tuesday that Gummer is under investigation for “alleged involvement in procuring contracts for SG Recruitment UK”, leading to potential breaches of two rules in peers’ code of conduct. The first prohibits peers from seeking to profit due to their membership of the Lords “by accepting or agreeing to accept payment or other incentive or reward in return for providing parliamentary advice or services”. The second states that peers “must not seek by parliamentary means to confer exclusive benefit” on a company in which they have a financial interest. These prohibitions include a bar against peers “making use of their position to lobby … members of either House, ministers or officials”.

Gummer is the second Tory peer to face investigation for potential breaches of the rules, following the investigation announced in January into Michelle Mone. She made an offer for the supply of PPE, first to Michael Gove, then to another Tory peer, Theodore Agnew – who was then a Cabinet Office minister in charge of procurement – that led to a company being awarded £203m of contracts via the VIP lane. That company, PPE Medpro Ltd, is now also subject to a National Crime Agency investigation into potential fraud. Lady Mone has consistently denied involvement in the company and any wrongdoing.

The Labour peer George Foulkes, who submitted a complaint to the commissioner relating to Mone, also made the complaint about Gummer.

An analysis by the National Audit Office found that companies referred to the VIP lane, after a recommendation by MPs, peers, ministers or health officials, had a 10 times greater success rate for being awarded contracts than those without VIP treatment. Following a challenge by the Good Law Project, the VIP lane was ruled unlawful in January, because it meant companies did not receive equal treatment by the government.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Editor’s Pick

Bowmark Capital, the private equity investor, has backed the buy-out of Cornwall Insight, a leading provider of research, data and analysis to the energy...

Editor’s Pick

Rising diesel prices could soon stop Britain’s fishing crews from setting sail as it becomes too costly to fish, boat captains warned this weekend....

Editor’s Pick

Fewer firms are at risk of failure compared with last year, but smaller companies are struggling to stay afloat after the end of pandemic...

Editor’s Pick

Big Issue Group has revealed its exciting new rebrand and ambitious five-year strategy, which will reflect the organisation’s response to the huge challenges faced...

Editor’s Pick

The UK economy is at significant risk of entering a “mild recession” next year as soaring inflation takes its toll, according to KPMG. GDP...

Financial Advisors

The introduction of aggressive climate objectives by global economies and growing prospects for reducing carbon emissions are driving the growth of the district heating...

You May Also Like

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Financial Advisors

The healthcare ecosystem is one that has thrived on the cusp of scientific progress, benefitting enormously from the winds of change in the technological...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.