UK Gov't Contract For Pandemic Messaging Found Unlawful

Law360, London (June 9, 2021, 7:15 PM BST) -- The U.K. government's decision to award a £560,000 ($790,535) deal to a polling company for message-testing during the first wave of COVID-19 was unlawful due to apparent bias, a judge in London ruled Wednesday.

Judge Finola O'Farrell said the government should have made sure there was a clear record of the impartial criteria used when it appointed Public First Ltd. to provide communications support over other research agencies between March and September 2020.

The contract was awarded without advertisement or competition between other bidders, and the head of the company, the prime minister's former adviser Dominic Cummings and Minister for the...

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