A month after Lord Feldman – who runs a lobbying company called Tulchan – was brought into the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) one of its clients, Bunzl, was awarded a £22.6m PPE contract. The evidence suggests Lord Feldman helped them get it. And in July, the High Court ruled that we could challenge that award.
From the start, we have been concerned that Bunzl might not have been the only company to benefit from Lord Feldman’s time at the DHSC. Since April, we have been asking for an explanation of his dealings with the companies named in his conflict of interests form. DHSC has resisted giving answers but insisted there was nothing, or no more, to see.
Last month DHSC finally swore a witness statement explaining, without naming them, how the various companies named in Lord Feldman’s conflicts declaration had fared. They still said there was nothing to see.
This week we learned the names of the 50 companies in the Government’s VIP Lane – and who had referred them. Lord Feldman was named as the “actual referrer” of three companies, who together were awarded contracts worth over £60 million. Lord Feldman has denied having any “commercial” relationship with the companies or their owners, but he has not explained how he came to “refer” them to the DHSC.
It is also not clear to us how these three referrals fit within the evidence provided to date by the DHSC (and by Lord Feldman himself). Or what he means when he denies a “commercial” relationship.
We have written to the Government’s lawyers asking for an explanation.
If, like us, you want answers, you can support our challenge here.