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Tory-linked PR firm hired to provide test and trace ‘reputation management’

Exclusive: firm owned by Matthew Freud won ‘strategic communications’ Covid contract without tender

A PR firm owned by Matthew Freud, who was closely associated with the Conservatives during David Cameron’s time as prime minister, was awarded a contract to provide “strategic communications”, including “reputation management”, for England’s beleaguered coronavirus test-and-trace system without a tender process, the Guardian can reveal.

The contract with Freud Communications Limited was for services to be carried out between 1 November last year and 15 January this year but it only came to light after details were published on a government website on 19 February.

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