Government faces lawsuit after £100m PPE contract awarded via MP hopeful


former Conservative parliamentary candidate was revealed as the contact for a £100 million deal for personal protective equipment (PPE) after an admin error.

The Government now face a lawsuit after the contract to supply face masks was awarded in July 2020 to Pharmaceuticals Direct Ltd (PDL) without any competition.

The Good Law Project, which is investigating how coronavirus contracts were awarded, said details of the deal were only disclosed in March after it wrote to the Government.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of PDL, which is a “substantial and well-established supplier to the healthcare sector”.

The Department of Health and Social Care said due diligence was carried out on every contract and ministers had no involvement in awarding them.

It said all contracts are published online, in line with transparency arrangements.

But the BBC reported that even when the £102.6 million deal involving was finally published, the contact details for the supplier were blacked out.

However, in what appears to have been a clerical error, a separate document published with the contract gives the name Samir Jassal as the “supplier’s contact”.

Mr Jassal twice stood as a Conservative candidate at general elections and has met Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

In a pre-action letter to the Government, the Good Law Project’s lawyers said Mr Jassal is not a director or shareholder of PDL but he has twice stood as an MP and has met the Prime Minister on a number of occasions.

The Good Law Project is “seriously and legitimately concerned” the decision to award the contract “was influenced by the involvement of Mr Jassal” or that it may have been a “relevant consideration” or even that it “unlawfully advantaged” PDL in its discussions with the Government relative to other potential suppliers.

Jo Maugham, the Good Law Project’s director, said: “The first lockdown ended in June.

“How can we still have needed PPE so urgently as to award a vast £100 million-plus PPE contract without any competition in July?


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