ECONOMY

Patel accused of beach of ministerial code as she receives first jab

P

riti Patel has been accused of a “flagrant breach” of the ministerial code as she received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

Labour has urged Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to investigate the Home Secretary over efforts to sway the award of a PPE contract aid to be worth £20 million after being approached by a Tory activist.

Ms Patel attempted to apply pressure to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove in May last year during efforts to secure the contract for Pharmaceuticals Direct Limited (PDL).

Her efforts failed after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the masks were “not suitable for the NHS”, according to disclosure in a legal case.

But PDL was awarded a £102.7 million contract weeks later in July to provide a different type of mask, during which Samir Jassal was also the contact.

A spokesman for Ms Patel ‘rightly’ followed up representations about the supply of PPE

/ PA

It came as Ms Patel received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. She tweeted that vaccines are the UK’s way out of the pandemic as she urged the public to “get yours done too”.

Responding to the lobbying claims, a spokesman for Ms Patel said: “The Home Secretary rightly followed up representations made to her about the vital supply of PPE.

“During a time of national crisis, failure to do so would have been a dereliction of duty.”

However, Labour urged the Cabinet Secretary to investigate Ms Patel in a letter signed by deputy leader Angela Rayner and shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds.

They said there is “no evidence that the Home Secretary had any interest” in the PPE deal until contacted by Mr Jassal, suggesting she did it “as a favour to her friend”.

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