The High Court has granted permission to apply for judicial review in respect of legal proceedings arising from the award of substantial public contracts by the Department for Health and Social Care to clients of Tulchan Communications, the lobbying firm of which Lord Andrew Feldman (former Chair of the Conservative party) is the Managing Partner. During the period in which Lord Feldman acted as an adviser at DHSC, one of Tulchan’s existing clients, Bunzl Healthcare, was directly awarded a contract with a value in excess of £20 million without any advertisement of competition.
The claims contend that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care breached his duties of equal treatment and transparency, failed to comply with his own policies and failed to take any (or any adequate) measures to address Lord Feldman’s conflicts of interest. The claim also alleges that the contract award to Bunzl was approved on an incorrect or false basis regarding the reasons for the purchase and that the contracts award decisions were vitiated by apparent bias.
Permission to apply for judicial review has been granted on all of the above grounds.
Coverage of the case can be seen here:
Joseph Barrett and Raphael Hogarth of 11KBW act for the Claimant, the Good Law Project.