Tuesday 29 June 2021 / 2:47 PM Angela Rayner / Cronyism

Labour demands independent investigation after Michael Gove dodges questions on contract unlawfully handed out to his friends

Labour has accused Michael Gove of demonstrating a “contempt for the truth” and “habitual dishonesty” and demanded an independent investigation into whether he broke the Ministerial Code after he failed to turn up to Parliament to answer questions on a contract unlawfully handed out to his friends.

Angela Rayner made the accusation after highlighting contradictions in statements made by Gove and his department around the unlawful awarding of a contract to Public First, a company run by Gove’s close friends, and a court case regarding the Cabinet Office’s Clearing House which appears to show Gove misled Parliament when giving evidence to a Select Committee.

Labour argues that responses from the Cabinet Office clearly contradict Gove’s claim to have had no involvement in awarding this contract to Public First. Rayner has written to Gove demanding that he release all correspondence related to the decision-making process that led to this contract being awarded and that an independent investigation by the government’s Independent Adviser on Minister’s Interests Lord Geidt takes place.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said:

“Michael Gove has contradicted himself so many times it’s no surprise he won’t answer questions about his role in his friends being unlawfully awarded more than half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money.

“Gove’s attitude smacks of a contempt for the truth and habitual dishonesty. If he is so sure he’s done nothing wrong he should publish all the correspondence and refer himself for an investigation so he can clear his name.

“After the Matt Hancock scandal the stench of sleaze hanging around this government is growing stronger every day. The public need answers about what has gone on here, and there is clear evidence that Michael Gove has broken the Ministerial Code.”