Vernon Coaker MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary has said that the Defence Secretary needs urgently to clarify plans to allow a government-owned, contractor-operated service to run Britain’s defence procurement, after the Portfield Consortium withdrew from the bidding process.

Vernon Coaker MP said:

“The withdrawal of one of only two consortia raises huge questions about the viability of the entire Go-co process under this government. The Defence Secretary needs to provide urgent clarification and reassurance to address the uncertainty that now exists.

 “Labour raised significant concerns about the danger of having just two bidders and about the suitability and viability of the consortium that has now pulled out. The government’s response was dismissive and complacent. Just last month, the Minister in charge of procurement said he was confident in the competition, and a senior Ministry of Defence official previously said he was happy that both consortia were committed to the process. They need to explain how they got it so wrong, and why they didn’t listen to the concerns being raised.

 “It’s clear that there is a crisis of competence at the top of the Ministry of Defence, and a crisis of confidence in the ability of Ministers to sort it out.”

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