Matt Hancock scandal utter 'cronyism,' but Health Sec. mustn't resign, David Lammy says

21 February 2021, 14:16

By Seán Hickey

The Shadow Justice Secretary insisted that although Matt Hancock's actions were wrong, 'this is not the circumstance' to call for his resignation

Tom Swarbrick was joined by Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy to discuss the controversy surrounding the Health Secretary and contract procurement during the pandemic.

Read More: Government unlawfully failed to publish Covid contracts, High Court rules

David Lammy was quick to share his disgust at the conduct of the Government in the procurement scandal.

"It's really really worrying that we've got a Government that's so keen to act unlawfully," he said, citing the proroguing of parliament and the proposed internal markets bill as two examples.

"Why is the Government so frivolous about the rule of law," he wondered.

He went on to share his views on the actions of the Health Secretary in his appointing of people close to Government to procure PPE and ventilators during the pandemic.

Read More: Covid-19 crisis in numbers: LBC brings you the stats you need to know

"This is cronyism, and we'd call it corruption if we were dealing with a banana republic."

"Why is Sir Keir Starmer not calling on the Health Secretary to resign," Tom wondered. Mr Lammy was quick to insist: "Because we're in the middle of a pandemic."

He went on to stress that "this is not the circumstances in which you start changing your Health Secretary," and Mr Hancock should "go back to the proper way to tender for business."

"In these circumstances I do feel we've got to put the pandemic first," the Shadow Justice Secretary insisted.

The Health Secretary has come under fire for not publishing procurement contracts related to the pandemic in due time
The Health Secretary has come under fire for not publishing procurement contracts related to the pandemic in due time. Picture: LBC

"It's a serious matter and I think we need to reserve judgement before we know the full picture," Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham claimed.

He was sure to stress that the actions of the Health Secretary were inexcusable, but the party cannot take any action until all the details have been published.

"There's no justification for giving contracts to friends and acquaintances without due process."

The Mayor of Greater Manchester added that he supports Sir Keir Starmer's position on the matter, telling Tom "there's much more to come out here," before Labour take any position.

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