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The High Court has today refused a group of claimants permission to apply for judicial review in their high-profile challenge to the Government’s Covid-19 mass asymptomatic testing programme, referred to as ‘Operation Moonshot’. Nicholas Chapman acted for the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
The claimants, led by the Good Law Project, alleged that the Government’s decision to allocate what was said to be around £100bn in public money and to enter into a series of contracts for rapid-turnaround testing technology breached procurement laws and legally enforceable duties of consultation, and was irrational. In refusing permission, Mr Justice Lavender ruled that all the grounds of challenge are unarguable. The claimants have been given 7 days to apply to renew their application.
Nicholas Chapman is first junior for the Prime Minister and Health Secretary in a team led by Philip Moser QC.