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Case update 01 September 2021

We have permission to bring our cross-appeal

In mid-July, we told you Michael Gove was appealing the Court’s decision that he broke the law in awarding a lucrative public contract to his friends at Public First because of apparent bias. We also said we would appeal those arguments which the Court had decided against us below: (1) that it was not necessary to ditch a proper procurement process and (2) that, even if it was necessary, it was wrong to grant such a long contract.

We are pleased to tell you that the Court of Appeal has said we can bring our appeal which has a “real prospect of success” and is “of wide importance”.

We believe Michael Gove brought his appeal in an attempt to delay another defeat in the Hanbury case (another case of him awarding a lucrative public contract to friends). We believe his appeal signals a willingness to waste more public money to delay further exposure of Cabinet Office illegality.

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What the permission decision of the Court of Appeal means is that we now have the chance to take a wider look at the decision to award tens of billions of pounds of pandemic contracts, often to Tory donors or associates, without any competition. In all of those awards, Government relied on the same ‘necessity’ justification for ditching a proper procurement process.

The case will be heard in the Court of Appeal on the 23rd or 24th of November.

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