Emails emerge of ‘VIP route’ for UK Covid test contracts
Discussions between health department officials and testing consortium revealed during legal challenge
Further evidence has emerged that the government operated a “VIP” fast-track process for favoured companies leading to accusations that ministers misled the public about billions of pounds of Covid-19 testing contracts.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has previously denied operating any VIP process for companies referred by ministers for possible Covid contracts. In June, when it emerged that civil servants had passed on referrals labelled “fast track” from ministers, a government spokesperson said: “These claims are completely false – there was no high priority lane for testing suppliers. All offers of testing went through the same robust assurance checks and there was no separate ‘fast track process’.”