Labour MP Rachael Maskell has said that the decision to award Clipper Logistics with a £130 million PPE transportation deal must be investigated.
The calls come amidst the fact that Clipper boss Steve Parkin gave £700,000 to the Conservative Party between 2016 and 2019, before the company was given a distribution sub-contract in 2020.
A spokesperson for Parkin said that he ‘was not involved’ in the awarding of the sub-contract to Clipper Logistics.
And the Government has said that the deal was awarded ‘in line with procurement regulations’.
A UK-wide inquiry, which will hear its first public evidence on today, (13th June), and could go on as long as three years, will look at the UK government’s approach to the pandemic.
Maskell, York Central MP and member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, told BBC Yorkshire: “The inquiry absolutely must look at this contract, and this is I believe what the inquiry is trying to establish – how the money flowed, how the contracts worked, and also what was delivered from that.”
The Electoral Commission records show that Parkin made donations of between £25,000 and £250,000 to the Tory Party in the three years prior to the pandemic, but a statement on behalf of the multi millionaire said: “Any attempt to portray the personal donation by Mr Parkin to the Conservative Party as a contributing factor to Clipper being asked to undertake PPE distribution during the pandemic is a gross distortion of the truth and completely incorrect.
Clipper Logistics was sold to the American firm GXO for £965m in May 2022, with Mr Parkin no longer associated with the new firm.