Midlothian MP calls on Sir Keir Starmer to back Crony Bill

Wednesday February 17th 2021


Midlothian MP Owen Thompson

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson has written to Sir Keir Starmer calling again for Labour to back his bill to tackle ‘Tory cronyism’ in Westminster.

The Ministerial Interest (Emergency Powers) Bill would force UK ministers to answer questions about any personal, political or financial connections they may have to a company that is awarded a government contract under emergency regulations.

The renewed call comes after a series of revelations that the UK government has awarded contracts to friends, acquaintances and donors to the Conservative party without following the proper procedure, including the £500,000 contract awarded to Dominic Cummings’ and Michael Gove’s friends at Public First.

Commenting, Owen Thompson MP said:

“The Tory government is spending over half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money on defending this decision in the High Court, which Cummings admitted to playing a key role in.

“People will not be surprised by the conduct of Dominic Cummings and the Tory government but that should not mean we have to put up with it. Lucrative UK government contracts should not be handed out like sweeties to pals.

“It is shameful that while millions are struggling to get by as a result of the decade of austerity measures imposed by this UK government, and the economic impact of Brexit and the pandemic, billions of pounds are being spent on, and defending, public contracts to friends and associates of the Tories.

“I’ve written to Keir Starmer seeking his party’s backing for my ‘Crony Bill’. If the Labour Party are serious about tackling cronyism then they will get behind it.”

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