Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Michael Gove broke law over crony contract


Michael Gove broke law over crony contract 

The High Court has ruled that the Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove broke the law by acting with ‘apparent bias’ in handing a £560,000 public contract to long-time associates of his and Dominic Cummings at communications agency Public First, in a case brought by the Good Law Project. 

Ministers have always claimed there was no favouritism – bias as lawyers call it – in the awarding of vast public contracts during the Covid pandemic. However, the High Court found:

‘The existence of personal connections between the Defendant (Michael Gove), Mr Cummings and the directors of Public First was a relevant circumstance that might be perceived to compromise their impartiality and independence in the context of a public procurement.’ (paragraph 147)

The judge continued:

‘Failure to consider any other research agency…would lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility, or a real danger, that the decision maker was biased.’ (paragraph 168)

Notes: You can read the High Court ruling against Rt Hon Michael Gove MP in full, the background to the contract and the skeleton arguments, witness statements and emails revealed in the case. 

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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