A health minister has been sacked at the center of a series of controversies over the government’s handling of the coronavirus in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.
Lord Bethel said he was “saddened to stand down” from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), where he had received a surprise appointment as Minister of Innovation at the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020.
He came under cronyism in relation to multi-million-pound contracts for PPE, tests and equipment after telling the House of Lords that ministers used “a very large network of contacts” and “informal arrangements” for supplies. Became a lightning rod for charges. .
He is currently facing a High Court challenge from the Good Law Project campaign over a series of deals worth £87.5 million to design, manufacture and supply home antibody tests signed in April 2020 between DHSC – the York-based firm A union health led by Abingdon.
The case has exposed his frequent use of his personal mobile phone and email to conduct official business, with lawyers pressured to release more than 30,000 messages that they believe stemmed from discussions around contracts. potentially linked.
After the Good Law Project sought access to the phone’s contacts, they were initially told it was “lost” and later dismantled, only for public prosecutors this week to reveal that it was It was given to a member of Lord Bethel’s family when he upgraded. Public prosecutors are opposing the release of the cache of messages, saying the vast majority are not relevant to the case.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /