The U.K. government has been defeated in a court claim brought by campaigners that accused it of unlawfully handing out contracts for COVID personal protective equipment (PPE), without the usual level of scrutiny, to companies ‘with political connections’.

Sitting in London’s High Court, Mrs Justice O’Farrell sided with campaign groups The Good Law Project and EveryDoctor, ruling that the government had conferred “preferential treatment” and an “unfair advantage” on companies PestFix and Ayanda by placing them on a ‘high priority lane’, and therefore acted unlawfully, according to the judgment.