Gove’s Scorching Letter Demands Answers on Labour’s PPE Hypocrisy


Gove’s Scorching Letter Demands Answers on Labour’s PPE Hypocrisy

Guido has got his hands on a letter that the unfailingly polite Michael Gove has sent to his opposite number Rachel Reeves, highlighting hypocrisy in Labour’s repeated PPE attacks. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was left bemused after Sir Keir went big on the issue at PMQs this week. Readers may remember it was calamity Rachel who recommended a del boy style list of potential PPE and ventilator providers to the Government back in April. Reeves recommended a football agent, an historical clothing company, and a private legal practice as potential PPE providers…

The letter takes on Sir Keir’s PMQs complaint that “more than half of all contracts relating to the pandemic…were handed out without competitive tender” and demanded that from now on “all Government contracts…be subject to proper process.” Gove not unreasonably asks if this means the Labour Leader does not believe Coronavirus counts as an ‘extreme emergency’, as Public Contracts Regulations (2015) allow direct award as a proper process in an emergency. The shortest time to run a tender is 25 days – so presumably Sir Keir would have been happy to have life-saving PPE procurement delayed a month…

On Labour’s demands to ‘Sack Serco’, the letter points out Labour controlled councils of Cumbria County, Hounslow, Milton Keynes, Newham Borough, and North Tyneside, as well as and Rachel Reeves’ own Leeds Council have contracts with Serco. Gove asks if Reeves has asked her own party to sack Serco…

Reeves has also complained about Deloitte, claiming a lack of ‘experience’ on PPE procurement. It will be interesting to learn if she has made any similar comment to the Welsh Government, who just two months ago procured with Deloitte Consultancy Services to help arrange supply of PPE. A classic case of Labour criticising one thing in England whilst doing the same in Wales…

A Whitehall source did not have complimentary words for Reeves, telling Guido:

“Rachel Reeves called on the Government to sack Serco yesterday but her own council in Leeds are contracting with Serco. First they accused the Government of moving too slowly on PPE procurement; now they say we moved too fast. This isn’t just Captain Hindsight – it’s full blown hypocrisy”

Guido is looking forward to seeing Reeves’ reply. Read the scorching letter in full here:

source.



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