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Case Update

Operation Moonshot: an update

2nd March 2021

Last month, the Courts refused ‘permission’ on the papers for the judicial review over ‘Operation Moonshot’, the case we were bringing alongside EveryDoctor, Aron Cohen, and Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity. We had applied for an oral ‘renewal’ of our permission application but we have taken the decision to ‘pull’ the case.

We are challenging a number of Government failures to follow proper procurement processes, from focus group contracts handed to allies of Dominic Cummings, to enormous PPE contracts awarded to its VIPs, to antibody contracts awarded in the face of Government’s own legal advice. The Moonshot programme has limited ongoing political salience: Government says it is no longer pursuing the programme. And, alone amongst all our cases, we were not given permission to bring the case on the papers from which one might conclude it is not the easiest case legally. 

Moreover, we are facing enormous costs pressure due to Government’s eye-watering estimated costs. We need to focus our resources where they have the greatest chance for impact. 

Transparency is important to all of us at Good Law Project and if you fund our work you are entitled to know why we have taken this difficult decision. It is never easy to withdraw from a legal challenge but, we believe, it is the right thing to do here.

It is only with your support that we can continue to hold Government to account. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.


This article is part of our Operation Moonshot case

Leaked documents revealed that ‘Operation Moonshot’, the Government’s plan to increase its Coronavirus testing programme, was based on technology that didn’t even exist yet – and would cost over £100 billion. But, in March 2021, the courts refused permission for a judicial review.

See more about this case