The investment company Ayanda specialises in “currency trading, offshore property and trade financing”, yet was “direct awarded” its £252 million contract to produce facemasks—50 million of which were deemed unusable. Ayanda has direct connections to the government and the award was facilitated by an advisor to the Board of Trade (chaired by Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade) who is also a senior Ayanda board advisor.
Patterson is but one example of a pervasive phenomenon whereby government officials move to corporations (and vice versa), which is possible due to shared belief systems, ideology, tastes and worldview of the people occupying high places in these two worlds.
In March 2020, Public First, a small privately held PR company (owned and directed by friends and colleagues of Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings), was awarded £840,000 to manage the public relations around the government's A-level algorithm results fiasco. The government signed the contract without advertising or competitive tender.