LONDON (Bywire News) - The High Court has ruled that the Government acted unlawfully when they awarded a contract worth £560,000 to friends of Boris Johnson's former chief advisor, Dominic Cummings.
The market research firm, Public First, is run by Rachel Wolf and her husband James Frayne. Frayne has also previously worked as an advisor to Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove and helped to write the Tory manifesto for the 2019 General Election.
Whilst ministers have denied any favouritism and Cummings has disputed the claim, the judge said that there was "a real danger" of bias as no other firms were considered for the contract.
Barrister Jolyon Maugham from The Good Law Project, who brought the case to court, said after the ruling:
“Government has claimed there was no favouritism in the awarding of contracts. But the High Court has held an informed observer would conclude otherwise."
“This is not government for the public good – it is government for the good of friends of the Conservative Party.
“We just don’t understand how the prime minister can run a cabinet that acts without proper regard for the law or value for public money.”
The judge, Mrs Justice O'Farrell, said in her ruling:
"The claimant is entitled to a declaration that the decision of 5 June 2020 to award the contract to Public First gave rise to apparent bias and was unlawful."
[Writing by Jess Miller, editing by Tom D. Rogers.]