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Latest 24 January 2023

REVEALED: Politically connected broker made £17m profit on ‘VIP’ PPE contracts

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An investigation by Good Law Project has uncovered the huge profits made by Zoe Ley after she brokered a £250m PPE deal for Hong Kong-based Worldlink Resources – a firm who landed two huge contracts via the unlawful ‘VIP’ lane.

Ley, a former dog food vendor, incorporated a new company called ‘Life Partners Ltd’ at the start of the pandemic to broker PPE supplies. Documents published on Companies House reveal that Ley’s company made an eye-watering £17.6m net profit in its first year of trading. 

We previously revealed that Worldlink Resources won their mammoth PPE contracts after being referred onto the VIP lane by former Cabinet Minister, Lord Agnew. The firm won two contracts:  a £178M deal to supply goggles awarded in June 2020 and a £80m contract, awarded in May 2020 to supply surgical gowns

Furthermore, documents obtained by Good Law Project uncovered serious questions about the usefulness of the PPE provided. Tens of millions of the goggles procured under the £178m deal could end up going to waste. 

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Zoe Ley partnered with former Conservative Party MP, Brooks Newmark, to lobby Matt Hancock and other ministers on behalf of Worldlink resources. 

Newmark’s consultancy business which was dormant in the four years before the pandemic has seen a big change of fortune. Capital and reserves at ‘Brooks Newmark & Co’ have jumped from minus £2,318 up to £2.3m in 2021.

Newmark emailed Matt Hancock in May 2020 urging him to “support” and “help” make the controversial deal happen. Hancock and his special advisors promptly pushed the deal along and Worldlink Resources subsequently found themselves in the VIP lane – becoming one of the biggest winners of PPE contracts. 

What is slowly emerging – and there is more to come – is that we haven’t been told the truth about the VIP lane. There was a whole cottage industry of Tory hangers on making referrals into the VIP lane for commission – and none of them have been named.

We have contacted Zoe Ley and Brooks Newmark for comment.

We will continue to investigate and uncover more and more of the VIP lane scandal. We can only do this with your support. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.