Coronavirus

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:38 pm on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Philippa Whitford Philippa Whitford Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe) 12:38 pm, 17th June 2020

I, too, welcome the positive outcome of the recovery trial showing the contribution of dexamethasone—a drug that is cheap and accessible across the world.

Despite claiming to be well prepared for this epidemic, the Secretary of State has struggled to provide sufficient personal protective equipment to NHS staff in England. He has now awarded £350 million of PPE contracts, but can he explain why £108 million of that was awarded, without being advertised, to Crisp Websites Ltd, which trades as PestFix, a small pest extermination company? Why was such a large contract awarded to a company with no expertise in trading or supplying any PPE, let alone highly specialised equipment for NHS staff? How do the Government think that such a small company, with only £18,000 of registered assets, can manage the cash flow required to procure £108 million-worth of PPE? Is this not just a reprise of the Seaborne Freight scandal—the ferry company with no ships?