THE husband of a Tory minister works for a firm which was reportedly awarded £24 million of government contracts, it has been revealed.

Gillian Keegan, a health minister, is married to Michael who works as a Cabinet Office civil servant responsible for the Government’s relationship with suppliers - but also holds a non-executive role on the board of Centerprise International.

The company has received millions from the UK Government for designing IT systems for the Ministry of Defence, The Sun reports.

Centerprise International has boasted of its Ministry of Defence contracts on its website but The National was not immediately able to confirm how much money it has been awarded. 

The Ministry of Defence was approached for comment. 

The paper said that between October 2019 and May 2020, the firm was awarded 17 contracts for its services.

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The Cabinet Office has insisted that Michael Keegan plays “no role” in awarding contracts.

A spokesperson for the department said: "We have a clear conflicts of interest process that ensures that all conflicts are identified and recorded formally and this safeguards our procurement and commercial processes.

"Michael Keegan is responsible for managing the relationship between the government and BAE Systems. He plays no role in awarding contracts to suppliers and declared his position at Centerprise as part of the Cabinet Office's conflict of interests process."

They added that Michael Keegan has "agreed to remove himself from any conversations regarding bidding for public sector contracts" and said this was a longstanding arrangement.

Suggestions of wrongdoing were "unfounded", the spokesperson said. 

Labour branded the deals “an example of vested Tory interests at the centre of Government”.

The National has approached Centerprise International for comment.

John Healey, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, told the paper: “This smacks of dodgy crony contracts at the heart of defence procurement.

“Protecting British armed servicemen and women is the most important duty of any Defence Secretary.

"Our British troops and taxpayers deserve better.”

A spokesperson for Centerprise said: "Please be aware there is no connection between Michael Keegan's role as a non-executive director of Centerprise International and his appointment as a Crown Representative. 

"Crown Representatives play no role in the award of contracts to suppliers and his role at Centerprise was fully disclosed prior to appointment. All MOD contracts awarded to Centerprise International were completed through relevant Crown Commercial Services frameworks.

"The story has no credence."