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Treasury adviser landed £252m contract for 43m ‘unusable’ masks

A GOVERNMENT adviser handed a £252million contract to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to health workers delivered 43million face masks that cannot be used, it was claimed yesterday.

Andrew Mills, an adviser to trade secretary Liz Truss (pictured), was, according to court papers filed by the government, given the contract in April after saying he had ‘exclusive rights to a large factory in China’.

He passed the contract to Ayanda Capital — a finance firm he advises because they had experience of international payments although with no experience of medical supplies. Ayanda — owned by investment banker Tim Horlick — said the government had changed its specifications for FFP2 masks after nearly 50million had been made.

Mr Mills told the BBC his government connection had no bearing on the contract.

Campaigners are demanding a review of how £5.5billion of contracts were awarded amid claims of ‘extraordinary waste and basic incompetence’.

Jolyon Maugham QC, of the Good Law Project, has asked for a judicial review calling for ‘full transparency’.

Boris Johnson said he was ‘very disappointed any PPE should turn out to be not fit for purpose’. A government spokesman said a ‘robust’ system was in place to procure PPE.

■ A COUPLE who claim to have seen Dominic Cummings make a second lockdown trip to Durham have complained to the police watchdog. Clare and Dave Edwards accused Durham Police of not investigating properly after their alleged sighting. Two others said they, too, saw the prime minister’s aide on April 19. Mr Cummings denied returning.