Minister resigns due to government's ‘lamentable' record on Covid fraud
The Independent|January 25, 2022
Lord Agnew attacks ‘arrogance, indolence and ignorance’
ADAM FORREST

A Conservative minister has resigned over the “lamentable track record”of Boris Johnson’s government in tackling fraud in a multibillion-pound Covid loan scheme. Senior Tory peer Lord Agnew quit in a shock announcement in the House of Lords yesterday, blasting “arrogance, indolence and ignorance” across government departments.

Opposition parties seized on the “damning” remarks, demanding that chancellor Rishi Sunak explain how he will reclaim billions the government had allowed to be “stolen” from taxpayers.

Lord Agnew said “schoolboy errors” had been made over the £47bn given out to businesses from the bounce back loan scheme (BBLS) – including the approval of more than 1,000 loans to companies “not even trading when Covid struck”. In his resignation letter to the prime minister, the minister for effiiency at the Treasury and Cabinet Offie also condemned the “desperately inadequate” efforts to claw back some of the huge sums lost to fraud.

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