nazi britain

Sunak announces end of UK jobs furlough and rolls out cheap labour scheme
Robert Stevens, WSWS, Jul 10 2020

Wednesday’s speech in parliament by Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the Conservative government’s furlough scheme will end in October. The speech was billed as centred on a “Plan for Jobs,” but Sunak made clear that the Tories have no intention of defending workers’ jobs. Around 9m workers and a further 2m of the self-employed are currently being paid 80% of their wages by the state, under the Job Retention Scheme. Making clear this will end in October, after first being wound down by making employers pay out a larger percentage of wages, Sunak denounced as “irresponsible” calls for “endless extensions to the furlough.” He said contemptuously:

If I say the scheme must end in October, critics will say it should end in November. If I say it should end in November, critics will just say December.

His declaration that “we can’t protect every job” is the understatement of the century. Nearly 200k jobs have gone already during the pandemic, with companies announcing thousands more redundancies every day. All Sunak proposed was a miserly £1k offered to companies for every furloughed worker they keep in employment until January. This is not even a month’s wages for those on minimum wage and working full-time. To incentivise companies to cut pay, and also hours, Sunak said that to qualify for the £1k means agreeing that each “employee must be paid at least £520 on average, in each month from November to January.” The scheme will be a gift only for companies that don’t intend to lay workers off. Other measures announced were presented as major interventions to boost the economy and restore consumer spending. These included everyone receiving “Eat Out to Help Out” discount vouchers for August, subsidising 50% of the cost of food at participating cafés and restaurants three days a week, up to a maximum £10 per head. All that can be assured by this is the further spread of the coronavirus. The chancellor also announced a temporary VAT cut for the next six months and said no stamp duty land tax would be paid on property purchases up to £500k, ending next March.

Sunak, married to the daughter of Indian billionaire N R Narayana Murthy, personifies the social layers dedicated to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s goal of completing the “Thatcher Revolution,” with the economy freed of any and all restrictions and regulations hindering the glutting of the super-rich. His own contribution to achieving this goal was to announce a new cheap labour scheme. Its purpose is to ensure a generation of youth enter the labour force on rock-bottom wages that are the “new normal.” The “KickStart Scheme” is mainly aimed at the under-25s and particularly “over 700k people leaving education this year. Sunak claimed that these will be new jobs, “with the funding conditional on the firm proving these jobs are additional.” But everyone knows that companies will just lay off existing higher-paid workers, cook the books, and employ the new recruits. Sunak boasted that the jobs will be for “a minimum of 25 hours per week, paid at least the National Minimum Wage.” The UK’s National Minimum Wage is among the lowest of all Western economies. Those under 18 classed as “apprentices” receive £4.15/hr, and those under 18 in non-apprentice jobs £4.55/hr. Workers aged 18 to 20 get £6.45/hr, and those aged 21 to 24 get £8.20/hr. Someone under 18 receiving an apprentice’s wage on Sunak’s scheme and working 25 hrs/wk will receive just £103.75/wk. A 24-year-old on the same hours would receive £205/wk. To enforce the scheme, Sunak will pay businesses £2,000 for all young apprentices they hire. Those over 25 are also dragged into the scheme with companies being paid £1.5k for the hiring of “apprentices” 25 and over. A further £1b is being put into doubling the number of “work coaches” at job centres to enlist this low-pay army. The most significant statement made by Sunak was this warning:

World economic activity has slowed, with the IMF expecting the deepest global recession since records began. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility and Bank of England are both projecting significant job losses.

This is the backdrop to the Tories’ drive to scale up its attacks against jobs, wages, and conditions beyond anything seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. All the state debt accumulated during the pandemic will be put on the backs of the working class, with Sunak announcing a “Budget and Spending Review in the autumn” to “put our public finances back on a sustainable footing.” With the £30b in spending announced yesterday, the Treasury has already borrowed £350b this financial year. Since March, the cost of the furlough scheme, solely aimed at bailing out big business, and other support measures for the economy have cost almost £189b. The Financial Times noted:

With tax revenues hit hard by the crisis, the deficit is likely to reach £361.5b, 18% of national income, almost twice the size of the deficit at its peak in the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

Institute for Fiscal Studies Deputy Director Carl Emmerson said:

The UK will borrow more as a share of GDP than it ever has done in the last 300 years, outside of the two world wars.

Just 24 hours after Sunak’s speech thousands more job losses were announced by major high street firms: 4k at Boots, 1.3k at John Lewis, 1.6k at Burger King. Rolls-Royce stated that plans were continuing to make 2k redundant at two UK plants with 1k more jobs threatened. On Tuesday, the OECD warned that the number of unemployed people in Britain could increase from 3.9% to almost 15% of the working population (around 5m workers), if the UK is hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. And such a “second wave,” which will claim more lives than the 70k killed so far, is guaranteed by the Johnson’s government’s reckless throwing-open of the economy. To compound this, all schoolchildren and teachers are being forced back into classrooms in September, just ahead of the annual flu season. Among the final sections of the economy that are still closed, gyms will be allowed to reopen possibly as soon as next week. These will be followed by swimming pools, beauty salons, nail bars, bowling alleys and casinos. In response to the chancellor’s speech, Len McCluskey, the leader of the largest trade union, UNITE, said:

Redundancy notices are already flying around like confetti, so today was the day we needed the chancellor to put a stop to this with policies as bold and as necessary as the jobs retention scheme. This statement failed that test. Our fear is the summer jobs loss tsunami we have been pleading with the government to avoid will now surely only gather pace.

McCluskey specialises in this sort of bluster. When he shuts up, UNITE just gets on with its main role of facilitating job losses, pay cuts and whatever else is required by the corporations it serves. The UK has entered unchartered territory economically, politically and socially. The government has declared class war, and the working class must mount a counter-offensive. This means forming rank-and-file action committees to ensure safety in the workplace and to oppose all job cuts and speed-ups, guided by a socialist programme to replace the failed capitalist system with a socialist government of the working class.

Firm with links to Gove and Cummings given Covid-19 contract without open tender
David Conn, Peter Geoghegan, Groan, Jul 10 2020


The Cabinet Office has awarded an £840k contract to research public opinion about government policies to a company owned by two long-term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings, without putting the work out for tender. Public First, a small policy and research company in London, is run by James Frayne, whose work alongside Cummings dates back to a Eurosceptic campaign 20 years ago, and Rachel Wolf, a former adviser to Gove who co-wrote the Conservative party’s 2019 election manifesto. The government justified the absence of a competitive tendering process, which would have enabled other companies to bid, under emergency regulations that allow services to be urgently commissioned in response to the Covid-19 crisis. However, the Cabinet Office’s public record states that portions of the work, which involved focus group research, related to Brexit rather than Covid-19, a joint investigation by the Guardian and Open Democracy has established. A Cabinet Office spox said this was because of book-keeping methods, and insisted that, contrary to government records, all the focus group research done by Public First was related to the pandemic. The Cabinet Office, where Gove is the minister responsible, initially commissioned Public First to carry out focus groups from Mar 3, although no contract was put in place until Jun 5. Government work is legally required to be put out for competitive tender to ensure the best qualified company is appointed, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as an unforeseen emergency. When a contract was finally produced on Jun 5, it was made retrospective to cover the work done since Mar 3. The Cabinet Office paid Public First £253k for the two projects listed as being Brexit-related and two more pieces of work done before the contract was put in place. Public First was required to conduct focus groups “covering the general public and key sub-groups,” according to a Cabinet Office letter. The firm was required to provide the government with “topline reporting” of their findings on the same day, with fuller findings reported the following day. The deal also included “on-site resource to support No 10 communications” in the form of a Public First partner, Gabriel Milland, being seconded to Downing Street until Jun 26. Milland was the head of communications at the Dept for Education when Gove was the minister and Cummings was his political adviser. The Cabinet Office said in the letter that it had commissioned the work from Public First for a total of £840k without any tender “due to unforeseeable consequences of the current Covid-19 pandemic.” According to further details published by the government under its transparency requirements, Public First was paid £58k on Mar 18 for its first focus group work, classed by the Cabinet Office as being for “Gov Comms EU Exit Prog,” then a further £75k on Mar 20 for work classed as “Insight and Evaluation.” On Apr 2, 10 days into lockdown and with increasing numbers of people dying from Covid-19, the Cabinet Office paid Public First £42k for work listed again as “EU Exit Comms.” The first payment for work listed as being coronavirus-related was on May 27: £78,187.07. A total of £253,187.07 was paid to Public First before the contract was entered into on Jun 5.

The Great Escapegoats
Sam Bright, Byline Times, Jul 9 2020

Boris Johnson is a man with a lifelong habit of avoiding taking responsibility for his actions. After making up quotes during a traineeship at The Times, Johnson still scaled journalism to become the editor of the Spectator magazine and, ultimately, a £275k/yr columnist at the Telegraph. Even when he seemingly abetted the attempts of a close friend to beat up a journalist, he faced no repercussions, aside from a casual reprimand. After Johnson failed to undertake even basic constituency responsibilities in Henley, while he was the MP for the area, between between 2001 and 2008, his career in public office was barely curtailed. As we all know, the old Etonian became the Mayor of London, before returning to the House of Commons in 2015 and rising quickly to the top of government. In more recent history, his insinuation that Muslim women who wear the burka are akin to “bank robbers” didn’t stop him from becoming Conservative Party leader. And habitually avoiding the press didn’t prevent him from winning a general election, by a landslide margin. So Johnson is well trained for his current task: to limbo under any responsibility for one of the most catastrophic failures of any Prime Minister in the history of the office.

As Byline Times has documented in these pages over recent months, a toxic combination of English exceptionalism, flawed scientific assumptions (to put it mildly), and a fundamental lack of preparedness wrought by a decade of austerity have landed the UK with the highest Coronavirus death toll in Europe. But Johnson has never faced his failures and he is not about to start now. Instead, his quest to find scapegoats and to backtrack has started in earnest, and won’t stop until the PM believes he has dodged all responsibility. Having lauded them as ‘heroes’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this week the Government confirmed that free parking for NHS workers would be scrapped. A policy introduced at the onset of the crisis, it enabled doctors, nurses, carers and support staff in England to park at their workplace for free. While this has all the hallmarks of another Johnson U-turn, it hints at the natural instincts of this Government. When it suits Johnson and his Cabinet to deify NHS workers, they use every tactic imaginable, no matter how crass (see Matt Hancock’s NHS socks). However, when the doorstep applause dies down, this Tory administration returns to treating health workers with the same suspicion and borderline prejudice it seems to innately hold towards the vast majority of public sector occupations. More overt has been Johnson’s attempt to pin the blame on care homes for the Coronavirus crisis that has engulfed their residents. On Jul 6, the PM said:

Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures.

That’s a wilful distortion of history if ever there was one. The Government’s response to an upsurge in care home cases was bovine, to put it generously. As late as Mar 12, just a week before Coronavirus cases spiked and the country went into the lockdown, the Government was continuing to insist that “it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected”. It was also not until mid-April that the Health and Social Care Secretary Hancock changed the rules so that everyone returning to a care home from hospital had to be tested. One in five Coronavirus patients caught the virus in hospital, according to papers produced by Government scientists, yet care home residents were allowed to ferry the virus into a high-risk setting for more than a month before the Government intervened. Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, says:

Government guidance to the sector has come in stops and starts, with organisations grappling with over 100 pieces of additional guidance.

According to official figures, which are a baseline, 16k people in UK care homes have died from the Coronavirus. 12.5k of these deaths had occurred by the beginning of May, yet weeks later the Government was still re-issuing guidance to the sector. It was too little, too late. It is true that the social care sector is riddled with flaws. It is operated largely by private companies, some of which have been accused of underpaying and exploiting staff. However, Johnson’s Government has turned an exceptionally difficult job into a near-impossible one, and is now trying to shed the blame. But medical and health-care professionals are not the only ones who have been pummelled by the Johnson blame game. The Government’s own scientists have also been harpooned, collateral damage in the great effort to preserve the Prime Minister’s image. Interviewed by Sky News last month, Health Minister Helen Whately let slip a new approach to the Government’s once-venerated public health experts. Challenged on the Government’s lack of guidance for care homes (a recurring problem), Whately attempted to hide behind the scientists, saying:

At all points in this we follow the scientific guidance as to what is the right thing to do.

The interviewer responded:

You can’t stick this on the scientists!

Whately replied: “Well, I can!” before rapidly insisting that wasn’t what she meant.

This reliance on scientists as human shields has been witnessed throughout the crisis. From the very start, the Government insisted that it was “following the science,” a loose phrase that suggested scientists were themselves making Government policy. However, as has been insisted on multiple occasions by these same scientists, they merely present advice to ministers, who ultimately take the decisions. When lockdown measures were first eased on May 11, for example, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, made it patently clear who was behind the policy shift, saying in the daily Downing Street briefing:

That’s why ministers and the Government have come to this decision.

But this low-level rebellion is the only resort for the likes of Whitty, prior to a full-blown resignation. Although they are meant to provide independent advice to the Government, he and his colleagues are civil servants and, in this capacity, compelled to blindly support the Government of the day. Open dissent of any nature is a form of mutiny. They must keep their traps shut while ministers order them to march over the trenches. Health workers have similarly been muzzled, threatened with disciplinary action if they speak out against the Government’s strategy. This, it seems, has been a concerted effort to scapegoat those who can’t fight back.

That said, if all else fails, there’s still the good old British public to fall back on. Of course a Government would never commit electoral suicide by blaming the public for the resurgence of a pandemic. However, ministers have successfully managed to shift the media spotlight away from their own failures and onto the behaviour of the public at large. Entertain this: ever since Johnson updated his messaging from “stay at home” to “stay alert,” the Government’s guidance has been muddled, at best. Clairvoyance has only been apparent in the biggest drinking drive since the 2018 World Cup, with ministers hyping up the nation’s collective return to the pub on “Super Saturday.” Hearing a message that equates to “you can drink yourselves silly as long as you wash your hands,” people have been flocking back to bars, restaurants and beaches. Questions of Government incompetence have thus been knocked off the tabloid front pages, replaced instead with images of red-chested hordes, grilling like sea-lions in the summer sun. All the while, the Government has insulated itself with small print, which lays out a myriad of detailed restrictions. But who ever reads the small print? Undoubtedly, this campaign of distraction and distortion has been effective. Despite having the worst ratio of Coronavirus deaths to cases in the world, the Conservatives are still riding high in the polls, and there’s not exactly a clamour to turf the PM out of Downing Street. Johnson is pulling off the greatest deception of the modern era. He is sustaining his image as a bumbling, harmless aristocrat, but with a growing flock of sacrificial lambs needed to maintain the mirage.

Banana Republic Corruption
Craig Murray, Jul 8 2020

The Ayanda Capital contract to supply £250m of PPE to the NHS has not caused anything like the stir it should, because UK citizens appear to have come to accept that we live in a country with a Banana Republic system of capitalism. I suppose when you have a Prime Minister who handed out £60m of public money for a Garden Bridge that there was no chance would ever be built, and who had no qualms about directing public funds to one of his many mistresses, the norm has changed. But the Ayanda Capital PPE deal represents all that is wrong with UK capitalism. Ayanda Capital self-describes as a “family office”. It essentially carries out investment and financial engineering, including tax avoidance, for the private wealth of the Horlick family. “Family office” has a very specific meaning in the City of London. The best simple definition I could find is here:

Family offices are private wealth management advisory firms that serve ultra-high-net-worth investors. They are different from traditional wealth management shops in that they offer a total outsourced solution to managing the financial and investment side of an affluent individual or family.

Sometimes family offices invest the wealth of more than one “very high net worth” individual or family, but they do not invest or raise funds from the wider public or from institutions. The only named “person with significant control” of Ayanda Capital is Timothy Piers Horlick, but he owns it through a Mauritius company. Mauritius is now a notorious tax haven; it offers zero tax and keeps company officers and owners secret.

There is no reason to suppose that the activities of Ayanda Capital in private wealth management were illegal, or any more than part of the execrable trend of late stage capitalism towards super concentration of capital assets into private hands and away from the traditional more distributed forms of institutional and shareholder ownership. What Ayanda does is plain enough from its website:

As you would expect from that profile, Ayanda Capital itself, rather than the wealth it invests, is little more than a shell company. It has two directors, Nathan Philip Engelbrecht and Timothy Piers Horlick. In fact, in Dec 2019, Ayanda Capital’s balance sheet shows that it was only kept from bankruptcy by “intangible assets” worth £2.89m. That was an increase of almost exactly £2m in the value of those “intangible assets” in twelve months, allegedly due to “development” spending of that amount. What was being developed is entirely unclear. It is difficult to see how a private wealth investment company develops some form of intangible asset with a value of nearly £3 million. I find it hard to see all that as more than an accounting wheeze – and a rather hoary one at that.

So far, so unremarkable. So the question is this. Why would the NHS turn to this ethically sordid but zeitgeist banal private wealth management office to provide a quarter of a billion pounds worth of PPE to the NHS? Wealth Manager magazine, who have done excellent journalism on this story, have the contract as supplying only face masks. They have confirmed the astonishing fact that there was no published tender for the quarter billion pound contract. Normal tendering processes were suspended in March through secondary legislation at Westminster for the Covid-19 Crisis. This is all simply astonishing. The normal public procurement tendering process has pre-qualification criteria which companies have to meet. These will normally include so many years of experience in the specific sector, employment of suitably qualified staff, possession of the required physical infrastructure and a measure of financial stability. This is perhaps obvious, otherwise you or I could simply stick in a bid to build the HS2 railway that is £10b cheaper than anybody else, win the contract then go and look for a builder.

Ayanda Capital would fail every single test in normal procurement criteria to supply PPE to the NHS. I can see no evidence that anybody in the company had ever seen PPE except when visiting the dentist. They appear to have no medical expertise, no established medical procurement network, no quality control inspection ability, no overseas shipment agents, no warehousing or logistics facilities. We have of course seen this before from these crooked Tories with their “emergency procurement,” with the “ferry company” with no ferries. But this, a quarter of a billion pounds, is on a whole different level. I understand that normal procurement chains were struggling, but I would still trust any of the UK’s numerous long established and globally successful medical supply companies to go out and get the right kind of medical supplies, of the right quality, and arrange their supply and delivery, rather than throw an incredible sum of taxpayers’ cash at the first couple of City wide boys who said they can do it. From a company with a very dodgy balance sheet. What are Ayanda Capital in this transaction other than the classic Banana Republic “Mr 10%”? Precisely what kind of country has the UK become? No wonder it is falling apart.

Another Strange Contract: The Loophole Allowing the Government to Avoid PPE Procurement Rules
Stephen Komarnyckyj, Byline News, Jul 9 2020

The Dept of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has awarded an £825k contract for PPE for health-care workers to a company that apparently has no cash. The firm, MGP Advisory Limited, has faced being struck off the Companies House register for failing to file its paperwork on three occasions since it was founded in 2017. The firm’s last accounts, submitted in Dec 2019, describe it as a ‘dormant company’ and state that its share capital is £10. The company had no funds in its bank accounts and was about to be struck off the register when it was awarded the Government contract on May 1 2020. The contract end date is also May 1 2020, presumably because it covered the purchase and delivery of a single batch of equipment. It looks like MGP Advisory Limited is really a vehicle for its owner, Michael Garrick Pearce. Pearce is a fashion industry specialist who launched UGG boots in the UK. He has extensive contacts in the Middle East and Far East, according to his LinkedIn profile. Pearce, who was contacted for comment before this piece was published, responded by referring Byline Times to a link to the award notice. The NHS is required to look at the Companies House register to check that a company is financially sound before taking out a contract with them. The Companies House page for MGP Advisory Limited informs the reader, in eye-catching red typeface, that its accounts are overdue. MGP Advisory Limited is not the only firm with an interesting background to have recently won a PPE contract from the Government. Jolyon Maugham QC, as reported by Yorkshire Bylines, has found evidence of two companies having received PPE contracts from the Government despite having no track record in this area. So what happened?

At the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government was offered the opportunity to participate in an EU scheme to procure PPE. The EU has published four calls for PPE equipment and its strength as a procurer means it can obtain supplies at a good price. The UK chose not to join the scheme although it had the right to do so until Dec 31 2020. Even if it did not participate in the EU scheme, the UK would ordinarily have published an open call for bids to provide PPE equipment in the Official Journal of the EU. However, under EU directives, where there is an ‘extreme urgency’ to buy goods or services, the Government does not have to open up a contract to competition. It can instead approach companies directly. Dozens of Government agencies, including the DHSC and local NHS bodies, have therefore approached firms to provide services, bypassing the EU’s tendering process, in some cases without a ‘call for competition,’ meaning that only one firm was approached. Many of the companies have a track record in providing PPE. However, some don’t. How were these companies chosen? We don’t know. We can only be certain that this piecemeal approach is not the best way to procure large supplies of PPE equipment. The NHS Counter-Fraud Authority stresses the need to undertake due diligence on companies before placing a contract with them. The Government has hurled vast amounts of cash at purchasing PPE equipment without competition, and this has allowed firms to be hand-picked. The way the procurements have been handled needs to be investigated. It suggests a cavalier attitude to the procurement rules, which are in place ultimately to protect the public against fraud and ensure their money is spent properly and effectively. We need that investigation sooner rather than later. The Dept of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

Lifestyle Company with No Employees or Trading History Handed £25M PPE Contract
Stephen Delahunty, Byline Times, Jul 2 2020

The Great British COVID-19 procurement scandal continues after a newly published contract revealed yet another business with little experience or expertise being awarded a multi-million-pound contract to supply PPE to the NHS. Design company Luxe Lifestyle Ltd was awarded a £25m contract on Apr 27 to supply garments for biological or chemical protection to the NHS. According to Companies House, the business was incorporated by fashion designer Karen Brost in Nov 2018. However, it appears to have no employees, no assets and no turnover. Additional research into the company’s background using business information provider Endole revealed no evidence that the company has actually done any trading at all. It is not clear how a business with no experience in the sector is able to meet its contractual requirements to provide 1.2m gowns and 10m FFP2/KN95 masks to the NHS during a national crisis.

Brost was previously the secretary of another company called Belharra Limited that described itself as a clothing and footwear wholesaler, yet this was wound up around four months before Luxe Lifestyle Ltd was incorporated. Brost set up another brand in March this year called Zazaboom, the products of which include handmade designer face masks costing £25 each, not NHS standard PPE. Brost has not responded to a request for comment. However, an anonymous person claiming to be a spox for Karen Brost contacted Byline Times after the publication of this article, using mlilimited.com as an email address. After multiple requests, they refused to identify themselves or pass on contact details for the company or its directors.

This is not the first example of a business with seemingly little experience or expertise being awarded a major contract by the Government to supply PPE. Byline Times has already reported concerns from senior industry consultants working within Public Health England, and specifically the PPE division, that procurement is a shambolic system of tenders, with no due diligence and poor management. As the pandemic unfolded, and the use of highly specialised PPE increased exponentially, instead of contacting existing suppliers and then widening the reach to more than 150 established PPE suppliers in the UK, PHE panicked. It evoked emergency procurement procedures, regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015, which allowed for the sourcing of goods without the formal tender process. This is how a small business called PestFix with assets of just £18k was awarded a contract of more than £108m for PPE. Another company called Excalibur, incorporated in Jan 2020, received an order for £25m of N95 and KN95 masks. This company was set up by Biotechnology entrepreneur, Professor Sir Chris Evans.

In addition, Conservative Party donors have also been found to be cashing in on PPE shortages during the crisis. In April, it was reported that haulage firm Clipper Logistics was appointed to be in charge of a new supply channel for personal protective equipment to the NHS. Its founding executive chairman is Steven N Parkin, a top Conservative Party donor who has attended Leaders Group meetings and donated just under £1m to the party over the past five years or so. The boss of a logistics firm, Conservative donor, and vocal supporter of the Vote Leave campaign was also found to be involved in Coronavirus contracts in May. Andrew Baxter, the managing director of Europa Worldwide Group, personally donated £10k to Boris Johnson in Jun 2019 and has made tens of thousands of pounds in donations to the Conservative Party since 2017, according to the elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission. A spox for the Dept for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has previously defended the Government’s procurement methods, describing them as “completely in line with procurement regulations for exceptional circumstances, where being able to procure at speed has been critical in the national response to COVID-19.” The DHSC confirmed the contract with Luxe Lifestyle Ltd was still active but refused to reveal how many individual units have been delivered so far. The spox added:

We don’t provide a running commentary of how many items have been delivered for each contract. The contract is still open and the orders are for 1.2m gowns and 10m FFP2/KN95 masks.

 

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