Friendship is at the heart of everything we do, says government giving out million-pound contracts to mates

MINISTERS who gave contracts for Covid work to close associates have defended themselves by saying they were only guilty of being great friends. 

Matt Hancock admitted that he could have asked the NHS to run test-and-trace rather than Baroness Dido Harding, but that he chose to put friendship before efficiency and would not apologise for that.

He said: “Surely at a time like this, with a pandemic sweeping Britain and none of us knowing if we’ll even see next year, our friends are more important than ever.

“But it’s like our critics want it outlawed. Why? What on earth could be wrong with sticking by your mates through thick and thin?

“For the avoidance of doubt, and to reassure people that the jobs will be done well, I’m happy to be transparent about this: me and these guys ski together, we shoot together, we went to school together. They’re solid guys.

“Some mates give each other cigarettes or lifts to the train station, we give our friends key government jobs worth tens of millions and ask them to do vital public health work they’re not especially qualified to do. Not ashamed of that.

“We didn’t put the Covid contracts out to tender because we’re guided by the core value of trusting our buds. And I pity you if you don’t feel the same.”

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Tier One girl loves Tier Three boy

A PAIR of lovers born in different tiers are doomed never to be together, they have confirmed. 

Grace Wood-Morris of Whitchurch in Shropshire and Oliver O’Connor of Neston in the Wirral live only 33 miles apart, but because they dwell in different tiers can never physically meet.

She said: “We yearn for each other. Every night I kiss his beautiful face on my iPad screen. But we are separated not just by one tier, but by two.

“My parents have warned me that our love is forbidden. They tell me to give up on Oli, that his lockdown will never lift, that I should find a local boy I can meet outside for socially-distanced government-sanctioned passion. But I cannot give up on my heart.”

O’Connor agreed: “I know I should accept the truth. That I will never be able to spend time with Grace because I am not allowed to meet other households outside.

“But even though I’m tier three, she is the one for me. She loves me regardless of my pariah status. Even if it means I must fight an army of Covid marshals single-handed, I will never give up on her.”

He added: “And besides, I can’t meet any other birds because Boris has shut all the pubs.”