Government Contracts: Covid-19 — [Yvonne Fovargue in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 7:11 pm on 21st June 2021.

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Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 7:11 pm, 21st June 2021

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s raising that contract, because it has been a challenge to me as a Minister. As I said earlier, I began this role only in June 2020. I had not been allocated a private office, and I had not been given a portfolio. Then I found myself in a procurement role, and questions are being asked about the company from which I rent a constituency office. As I say, I was not actually in post at the time that that was being decided. The challenge is that questions have been raised that I cannot fully address, because I do not have all the information. I was not party to the contract, so it is a considerable challenge. It is something that my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesham also raised.