Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS has claimed that “the stench of sleaze coming from the Conservative Party is overwhelming.” after reports that Alun Cairns was hired by a company just weeks before it secured a major UK Government contract.
Responding to reports by The Times that Alun Cairns MP was hired as a consultant for a company just weeks before it secured a major contract for the UK Government without competition, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS has claimed that “the stench of sleaze coming from the Conservative Party is overwhelming.”
Jane Dodds MS, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
It was revealed by the Times that Alun Cairns, MP for the Vale of Glamorgan and former Secretary of State for Wales, was hired as a paid advisor by the Welsh-based company BBI Solutions in July 2020.
A month after his appointment, the company won a major contract with the UK Government worth £75 million without competition.
The contract had already been subject to criticism after concerns over the accuracy of the testing kits provided and the involvement of Lord Bethell. Furthermore, before taking up the position Cairns was advised that, given his role, there was an “inherent risk it could be perceived his contacts might assist BBI Group unfairly”.
In response, the Liberal Democrats are calling for an investigation into how the contract was awarded and for communications between Cairns and government officials relating to the contract to be published, to reveal if Cairns’ appointment affected the outcome.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds, MS for Mid & West Wales, said:
“Public money should always go to the best companies, not those with friends in high places or who can afford to pay a Conservative MP for exclusive access. We need an urgent investigation into how this contract was awarded, including the publication of the communications of all those involved.
“The stench of corruption, cronyism and sleaze coming from the Conservative Party is overwhelming and the public are seeing through attempts by Boris Johnson and others to sweep it under the rug.
“The Conservatives try to brand themselves as the party of financial responsibility, but the truth is they are the party of contracts for mates and cash for access.
“It is absolutely vital that the Conservatives are not allowed to damage trust in our democracy any more than they already have. Any concerns about Covid contracts must be thoroughly investigated by an independent body.