Sir Keir Starmer has accused the government of criminality after the Secretary of Health was found by The Supreme Court has acted illegally in relation to Covid contracts.
The Labor leader said people are tired of the large sums of money being spent on shady deals amid a wealth spill exacerbated by the pandemic.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was ordered to have breached his legal obligation on Friday because his department did not publish contract details within 30 days of signing the documents.
Sir Keir spoke at an online campaign launch for Labors West Midlands mayoral candidate Liam Byrne MP, where both figures highlighted Britains inequality levels.
He said: “There has been a lack of transparency throughout this pandemic and people are tired of a government that wants to freeze the wages of key workers and does not provide support for the businesses that are needed.
On the other hand, she is throwing billions of pounds into contracts, many of which have not been submitted to the NHS.
Transparency is the first step and its essential ones implemented.
Everything that happened in that court case intertwined all the arguments we have made for several months now regarding the marriage that lies behind most of this.
The Opposition leader, taking questions from the media at a Zoom roundtable event on launch today, spoke after a judge ruled that the public has a right to know where billions of pounds have been spent.
In December, Hancock was accused of having links to a firm awarded $ 5.5 million to provide mobile coronavirus testing units.
At the time, the Department of Health and Social Welfare (DHSC) said ministers were not involved in procurement decisions or contract management and proper regulations and guidelines were followed.
Sir Keir, who launched a new bid to get Boris Johnson this week, also told Metro.co.uk that Covid’s years of poverty will follow if steps are not taken to close a growing divide inequality.
He said: “If we were really going to fight inequality, we should have an active Government that sees it as its business to tackle inequality. In other words, an active state that leads and works with businesses, regions and communities to tackle inequality.
This is the opposite of what we have done with the Conservatives, their view is that the Government should get out of the way. It is not the job of the Government, you leave it to the market somehow.
One of the most important ways to tackle inequality is through work.
High wages and high standards work in a secure economy and we need to dispel the myth that you can either have a prosperous economy or you can deal with inequality.
Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, told Metro.co.uk that Covid’s years of poverty could follow in light of figures he has obtained showing that the poorer areas of the city have been hit harder by the pandemic than the relatively rich.
He added: The first thing we can do is make sure the disease pandemic does not cause a poverty pandemic.
I have been struggling for the last month to get the publication of vaccination statistics, which we managed to release yesterday in Birmingham, and what they show is what I was afraid of.
The countries that have been hit hardest by Covid are the places where testing is lower and where the range of vaccinations is lower.
This means that our poorest countries could be trapped by Covid poverty for many, many years to come. This is something we are determined to take on.
The best way out of poverty is a job and that is why what we need to do is create those jobs for the future in the green industrial revolution and then transform our skills system so that the scales in those jobs fall on every community in the country. .
Partly for education, partly for training but also for mental health.
In Hodge Hill where we had youth unemployment for many years it was only a mile and a half from the front gate of the Jaguar Land Rover, but somehow we did not get services for young people like mental health services, like the technical and vocational education they provide the people we have with the affairs of the future.
We know in the Labor Party that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. That is why we have to build a democracy of opportunity for years to come.
Byrne is challenging Andy Street as Conservative in the May 6 mayoral election.
Chartered Accountant Jenny Wilkinson is standing for Lib Dems opposition leader and Solihull Council Steve Caudwell for the Green Party.
DHSC said: We have worked tirelessly to provide what is needed to protect our health and social care staff throughout this pandemic, within very short timeframes and against a backdrop of unprecedented global demand.
This has often implied the obligation to award contracts promptly to provide the vital supplies required to protect NHS workers and the public.
As the NAO 2020 report acknowledged, all audited NHS providers were always able to get what they needed on time thanks to the efforts of the Government, the NHS, the Armed Forces, civil servants and industry delivering over 8 billion PPE items to the front line at record speeds.
We fully recognize the importance of transparency in the award of public contracts and continue to publish information about awarded contracts as soon as possible.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at[email protected].
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