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Lord Cashcroft's big payday
Profits of Doom , Issue 1577
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LORD BOUNTIFUL: Generous Tory party donor Lord Ashcroft, for whom government policies have proved a big earner
BIG Tory donor Lord Ashcroft's firm has had a bountiful pandemic. Temp agency company Impellam's annual report, filed at the end of June, shows it has prospered both from government Covid contracts and poor government policies post-pandemic.

As chairman and a major shareholder, Ashcroft introduces the report by celebrating Impellam's "outstanding performance in 2021". The report hails "a strong bounceback in client demand along with high levels of Covid-19-related business" in the UK and Europe, which "delivered an impressive recovery".

That "Covid-19-related business" includes hefty government contracts. Impellam's total annual revenue was £2.26bn. In December 2020, the government gave its medical subsidiary a two-year, £350m contract to staff the Department of Health and Social Care's Covid testing lab, worth roughly 7 percent of Impellam's income. The firm also supplied many vaccination staff.

The report notes that another of its subsidiaries did well too: "Covid-19 staffing for our public sector clients was a key focus for Blue Arrow in 2021, with strong growth across our ScotGov and CCS [Crown Commercial Service] frameworks for supporting 84 government and NHS organisations across England, Scotland and Wales."

Government mismanagement
Impellam also did well from government mismanagement, including shortages of NHS staff. The report says that "with demand for healthcare professionals outstripping supply in the UK our international placements division recruited over 1,100 overseas nurses in 2021 and have a pipeline in place to deliver more in 2022", adding that "a scarcity of nurses" and "residential care workers" has boosted business. Indeed, the firm is doing well from broader post-Covid and post-Brexit worker shortages too. It saw high "demand for both permanent and temporary staff across all our brands" which "reflected major pressures on employers". As employee turnover rose "in a booming postCovid-19 jobs market". In addition, "Brexit and driver shortages" were "impacting the logistics sector".

The resulting shortages may be bad news for the nation, but they've been good news for Tory donor Ashcroft. He fell out with the party when David Cameron refused to make him a minister but is back on board, donating another £50,000 to the party in February.

More top stories in the latest issue:

COURT CIRCULAR
After the unlawful prorogation of parliament in 2019, Buckingham Palace was on red alert for any final act of illegality prior to Boris Johnson's resignation.

SITUATION VACANT
How culture secretary Nadine Dorries was able to buttonhole Rupert Murdoch for a full 20 minutes at the newly-single Dirty Digger's recent summer party.

DIRTY MONEY
The EU parliament's decision to classify some gas and nuclear projects as "environmentally sustainable" is a gift for Vladimir Putin, say objectors.

A SURE THING
The staggering profit made by Derby-based SureScreen Diagnostics, supplier of lateral flow tests, after just four months of a £503m, two-year contract.

TESTING POSITIVES
Thanks to Covid testing contracts, the owner of Randox Laboratories and his family hit a £100m jackpot – much of which has already moved offshore.

LIBEL NEWS
With the Ministry of Justice planning to legislate against expensive Slapp actions, Tory donor Mohamed Amersi's lawyers have some explaining to do.

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Next issue on sale: 24th August 2022
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