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Latest 18 November 2021

Revealed: Then there were 50! Government comes clean about three new “VIPs”

2B708Y8 Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, leaves 10 Downing Street after a Cabinet meeting to discuss the Coronavirus.

Late last night, Government published its list of the firms given red-carpet treatment in its lucrative ‘VIP’ lane – and the politicians and party donors who referred them.

The Government was forced to release the names following a successful and long-running Freedom of Information battle by Good Law Project.

We can reveal this list includes 50 names – rather than the 47 leaked to Politico – and includes three more significant Conservative Party figures.

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Current Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is now named as the ‘source of referral’ for VIP firm ‘EyeSpace Eyewear’. The company landed a £1.4m deal to provide Goggles. The contract included a fee of nearly £0.5m for freight.

Neither Shapps or Eyespace Eyewear were included in the previously leaked version of the VIP list.

Conservative Peer Lord Leigh appears twice on the list. Leigh has donated more than £100,000 to the Tory Party and is named as the ‘source of referral’ for Maxima Markets and Skinnydip.

Lord Feldman subsequently referred both suppliers into the VIP lane.

Another new revelation is the inclusion of a firm called The Paper Drinking Straw Co Ltd. The firm landed a £20m contract to provide surgical masks after being referred by Tory donor Stuart Marks. Mr Marks has donated more than £100,000 to the Conservatives according to the latest Electoral Commission data.

Another new name that was missing from the ‘leaked’ list is Mayfair Global, who were awarded a £256,000 contract to provide gowns.

Good Law Project will be releasing further analysis of the list in the coming days.

Government’s list can be read here.

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