Operation Moonshot

‘Operation Moonshot’ is the Government’s latest plan to increase the national coronavirus testing programme. The need for increased testing couldn’t be clearer. Yet leaked documents have revealed Operation Moonshot is based on technology that doesn’t even exist yet - and will cost over £100 billion.

This is a staggering sum of money - a generational-sized millstone of debt. Yet we know nothing about who has made the decision to spend it, or with what safeguards, or with whom, or why with these counterparties.

What we do know is that experts from SAGE, the Royal Statistical Society, the National Screening Committee, and the World Health Organisation have grave concerns about whether it is the right thing to do. We have outlined their concerns in our Pre-Action Protocol letter here.

We cannot afford more incompetence and wasted money when the stakes are this high. We need honest and open answers from this Government about ‘Operation Moonshot’. But the Government is not forthcoming - it has ignored letters from our lawyers - which is why, along with EveryDoctor, we are taking legal action to get answers.

Good Law Project and EveryDoctor have instructed Bindmans and Maya Lester QC from Brick Court Chambers and Joseph Barrett from 11KBW.

The legal challenge is being crowdfunded. If you are in a position to do so, you can make a donation here.

Timeline
10th Sep: We wrote to the Government asking for details regarding Operation Moonshot: available here
17th Sep: We sent the Pre-Action Protocol letter: available here
21st Sep: We received a response from Government Legal Department: available here
24th Sep: We sent a follow-up letter: available here
28th Sep: Government Legal Department replied: available here
1st Oct: We sent another letter to the Government Legal Department: available here
6th Oct: We received a response from Government Legal Departmment: available here
14th Oct: We sent a final letter: available here
4th Nov: We have issued Judicial Review proceedings: available here
20th Nov: Updated Court Bundle: available here
9th Dec: Defendant's Amended Summary Grounds of Resistance: available here
17th Dec: Draft Order: available here
18th Dec: Angela Raffle's second Witness Statement: available here
18th Dec: Jolyon Maugham's third Witness Statement: available here
18th Dec: N244 Application Notice: available here
18th Dec: Claimants' Reply to Summary Grounds of Resistance: available here

Previous Updates

Is Moonshot at last being canned?

Government has this week been forced to halt its plans to roll out rapid-turnaround Covid-19 test centres across England over Christmas due to widespread concerns from public health experts about the accuracy of the tests. 
Its…

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Operation Moonshot: We’re suing

We have now issued judicial review proceedings challenging the ‘Operation Moonshot’, We are proud to bring this important challenge alongside EveryDoctor, Dale Vince and Ecotricity, and Aron Cohen of diagnostics.ai.
For weeks now the Government has refused…

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Operation Moonshot: A damp squib

The ‘Operation Moonshot’, Government’s grand plan to develop a rapid turnaround testing programme, has predictably fizzled out into a damp squib.
In response to legal action by Good Law Project, Dale Vince, AI Diagnostics and EveryDoctor,…

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Update: Operation Moonshot

On 24th September, lawyers acting on behalf of Good Law Project, EveryDoctor, and Dale Vince’s Ecotricity wrote to Government with two simple requests. We asked whether they had already awarded contracts in connection with the…

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Operation Moonshot

Boris Johnson announced yesterday plans for an enormous expansion of the national coronavirus testing programme, named “Operation Moonshot”, and estimated to cost “over £100bn” to deliver. 
We support the need for increased testing capabilities. But the…

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