The Speaker
Friday, 12 April 2024 – 14:42

Government minister resigns over Coronavirus contract fast lanes

Lord Theodore Agnew of Oulton resgined as a government minister at the Hosue of Lords dispatch box, telling colleagues he was unhappy with working between the Department for Business and the Treasury.

He told peers:

“Given that I am the minister for counter fraud, it would be somewhat dishonest to stay on in that role if I am incapable of doing it properly.”

“It is for this reason that I have sadly decided to tender my resignation as a minister across the Treasury and Cabinet Office with immediate affect.”

Agnew had said in response to an urgent question from Labour that he was unable to defend the Government’s record.

Lord Agnew claimed that the Government has so far reimbursed banks almost £1billion for loans that had been defaulted on, adding that more than a quarter of this money was estimated for loans that were fraudulent.

He told the Lords that the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy had “two counter-fraud staff” at the start of the pandemic who would not “engage constructively” with his counter-fraud team in the Cabinet Office.

He suggested that this led to “schoolboy errors” in tackling fraud within the scheme.

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