PPE suppliers with political ties given 'high-priority' status, report reveals

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A cleaner wearing PPE sanitises furniture in the dining room of a school in Huddersfield, northern England.
A cleaner wearing PPE sanitises furniture in the dining room of a school in Huddersfield, northern England. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

PPE suppliers with political connections were directed to a “high-priority” channel for UK government contracts where bids were 10 times more likely to be successful, according to a report by the parliamentary spending watchdog.

Almost 500 suppliers with links to politicians or senior officials were referred to the channel, where their pitches for contracts were automatically treated as credible by government officials charged with procuring PPE.