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Case update 26 January 2023

Pharmaceuticals Direct: We have a date in the Supreme Court to argue for our case to be heard

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In 2021, we brought a case against the Government’s award of PPE contracts to Pharmaceuticals Direct – a company linked to a Conservative Party activist and donor, Samir Jassal. However, our legal action was paused by a technical error made by our external solicitors when filing the claim.

The High Court refused to hear our claim as a result and the Court of Appeal later ruled that the case should not proceed after a split decision between three of the judges.

We are pleased to confirm that we have been granted a hearing in the Supreme Court on 12th October to put forward our appeal against these decisions. 

Our case focuses on two PPE contracts given to Pharmaceuticals Direct, worth £131m in total. We have written about those contracts here. We think they are probably the most deeply troubling of all the PPE contracts we have looked at – they involve Number 10 and Priti Patel – and we have referred them to the Serious Fraud Office. It continues to investigate the contracts. 

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Since we launched our case, it has also emerged that Pharmaceuticals Direct landed a third £86m contract with the Government – this time to provide lateral flow tests.

Back in October 2020, Good Law Project first exposed the illegal ‘VIP lane’ used by Ministers at the height of the pandemic to buy PPE from Conservative Party donors and associates, outside normal procurement channels. Ever since, we have been working hard to uncover the truth of what happened and deliver some accountability.

If you would like to support our work in this area, you can do so here.