The government has issued civil legal proceedings against a firm at the centre of a row over the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic.
A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have commenced legal proceedings in the High Court against PPE Medpro Limited for breach of contract regarding gowns delivered under a contract dated 26 June 2020.
“We do not comment on matters that are the subject of ongoing legal proceedings.”
PPE Medpro said the case over the supply of sterile gowns would be “rigorously defended” and accused the DHSC of a “cynical attempt to recover money from suppliers” who acted in good faith.
It said in a statement: “PPE Medpro will demonstrate to the courts that we supplied our gowns to the correct specification, on time and at a highly competitive price.
“The case will also show the utter incompetence of DHSC to correctly procure and specify PPE during the emergency procurement period.
This will be the real legacy of the court case and it will be played out in the public arena for all to see.”
The company has been at the centre of a Westminster controversy, with Tory peer Baroness Michelle Mone taking a leave of absence from the Lords following allegations linking her to it.
Reports – denied by Lady Mone – have suggested the peer may have profited from the firm winning contracts worth more than £200m to supply equipment after she recommended it to ministers in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.