Good law

What the Covid contract ruling against the government really means

The High Court’s ruling that Boris Johnson’s government broke the law by awarding a Covid contract worth £560,000 has been loudly celebrated by campaigners. ‘The Government’s handling of pandemic procurement was a kind of institutionalised cronyism,’ said Jolyon Maugham, from the ‘Good Law Project’, which brought the case. But this isn’t quite the victory it is being made out to be. It’s true that judges did decide that the contract handed to Public First, a communications firm, was unlawful because of a risk of apparent bias. But the Court rejected two of the three things the Project complained about. It also refused to quash, or end, the contract. So was the