Following permission being granted in our PPE cases earlier this week, we’ve now heard that we’ve also been granted permission to bring our challenge against the lucrative public affairs contract given to long-time associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings at Public First.
In the Government’s summary grounds of defence, they do not even bother to contest that their decision to award the contract without competition was lawful. And their conduct does not seem to have thrilled the Court:
“The Defendant has provided no substantive response to the Claimant’s challenges, whether by way of pre-action correspondence or his Acknowledgement of Service, other than to state his intention to challenge the Claimant’s standing…The Defendant ought to have been able to indicate the general nature of his grounds of resistance in the Acknowledgment of Service.
“It is arguable that there was, at 3 March 2020, no extreme urgency within Regulation 32(2)(c) in respect of a contract for services of this nature”.
The case will be heard on 15th February 2021.
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