SNP CALLS FOR INQUIRY INTO TORY GOVERNMENT ‘CRONYISM’: 16th November 2020
UK GOVT MUST ‘COME CLEAN’ OVER SECRETIVE APPOINTMENTS & CONTRACTS
The SNP has called for an inquiry into ‘corruption and cronyism’ at the heart of the UK government - after fresh revelations that the UK government has awarded £1.5bn of taxpayers’ money to companies linked to the Conservative Party during the coronavirus pandemic. Reports in the Sunday Times claim that “none of the firms were prominent government suppliers before this year.”
The SNP has also raised concerns over privileged access to UK government ministers for friendly lobbyists with links to the Tory party. George Pascoe–Watson, UK chairman of lobbying firm Portland Communications, was made an unpaid adviser to a health minister without any public process or announcement. It’s claimed he then sent sensitive information on lockdown policy to paying clients.
An OpenDemocracy investigation also found that former Tory chairman, Andrew Feldman, was given a job advising a health minister despite potential conflicts of interest with clients of the lobbying firm that he runs.
SNP Westminster Depute Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said:
"These shocking revelations add to the growing concerns over cronyism and corruption at the heart of this Tory government, which has shown itself to be rotten to the core.
"There are serious questions for Boris Johnson to answer over the awarding of billions in public funds to companies with links to the Tory party, and the appearance that the Tory government has been handing out jobs for the boys to friends, relatives, donors and lobbyists.
"There must be a public inquiry into the scandalous way that public money, jobs and privileged access have been handed out by the Tory government during this crisis.
"This scandal demonstrates, yet again, that Westminster is broken beyond repair. It is clearer than ever that the best future for Scotland is to build a fairer and democratic society as an independent country."
Read more: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/george-pascoe-watson-among-lobbyists-given-secret-access-to-covid-meetings-tzxkc0jkp?fbclid=IwAR1_T9H1WRaIM1C9vORoTw4SDvWcDiJV69aSAupAG2LLQcHf3UqqzR70aIQ