Skip to main content

Covid-19 Related Contracts Awarded by DHSC: Potential Fraud Losses

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 7 July 2022

6. What recent discussions she has had with the Serious Fraud Office on the potential level of fraud losses arising from covid-19 related contracts awarded by the Department of Health and Social Care. (900965)

There have been no prosecutions by either the Serious Fraud Office or the Crown Prosecution Service of frauds connected to covid-19 contracts awarded by the Department of Health and Social Care. However, I can neither confirm nor deny whether the Serious Fraud Office is investigating any frauds relating to those contracts. This Government rightly took swift action at the height of the pandemic and, thanks to the excellent work of this Government, including Government lawyers, we have successfully defended the majority of our coronavirus-related litigation.

The secrecy on VIP lane contracts is emblematic of the loss of trust and transparency in this Government. Over the last 48 hours, Conservative Members have repeatedly stated the importance of integrity and honesty. As Prime Minister, will the Attorney General finally lift the veil of secrecy, publish the full details of VIP lane contacts and refer the matter to a committee or authorities, as necessary?

A lot of covid-related litigation has gone through our courts, and there has been a lot of scrutiny of the Government’s decision making and actions during the pandemic. I am pleased to say that the Government were successful in the majority of cases, with our decision making being upheld and found to be lawful.

Before I call Barry Sheerman, I note that he wishes to raise the case of his late constituent Ms Katelyn Dawson, who is the subject of an open and adjourned inquest. I am exercising the discretion given to the Chair in relation to matters that are sub judice to allow reference to the case as part of the question and answer.