In some cases, more qualified companies lost out to those with better political connections, which were granted access to a secretive V.I.P. lane that made them about 10 times more likely to be approved for a contract.
Conclusions: While there is no evidence of illegal conduct, there is ample evidence of cronyism, waste and poor due diligence, with officials ignoring or missing red flags, including histories of fraud, human rights abuses, tax evasion and other serious controversies.
Waste, Negligence and Cronyism: Inside Britain’s Pandemic Spending
By Jane Bradley, Selam Gebrekidan and Allison McCann