LABOUR has demanded an investigation into Michael Gove after a judge ruled the UK Government acted unlawfully by awarding a lucrative contract to a company with ties to Dominic Cummings.

The party's deputy leader Angela Rayner called for Boris Johnson to open an investigation into whether the senior Cabinet member breached the ministerial code over the decision.

But the Cabinet Office said “there will be no investigation”, arguing that Mr Gove “was not involved in the decision to award this contract”.

The demand came after a High Court judge determined the move to hand a £500,000 contract to a firm whose bosses were friends with former Downing Street adviser Mr Cummings gave rise to “apparent bias” and was unlawful.

READ MORE: UK Government unlawfully awarded contract to Dominic Cummings' friends

Campaigners took action against Mr Gove over the contract handed to market research firm Public First following the start of the pandemic.

Ms Rayner claimed the Cabinet Office minister breached the code stating ministers must ensure there are no appearances of any conflict arising during their public duties.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, she noted Mrs Justice O’Farrell found that a “fair-minded and informed observer” would conclude that there was a “real possibility, or a real danger” of bias in the awarding of the contract.

“On this basis, this appears to be a clear case of the ministerial code being breached,” Ms Rayner said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

“I would also urge you to set out what steps you are taking to recoup the taxpayers’ money that your government has handed out unlawfully to Conservative Party friends and associates at Public First.”

Mr Gove and Mr Cummings disputed the claim brought by the Good Law Project.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The minister was not involved in the decision to award this contract. Questions concerning the ministerial code therefore do not arise, and there will be no investigation.

"Any suggestion that there has been a breach of the ministerial code is wrong.”

The SNP's Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald said the UK Government's handling of contracts "has been riddled with a catalogue of cronyism".

She added: "The High Court ruling that the Tory Government acted unlawfully when awarding lucrative contracts to friends and contacts is utterly damning.

"This corrupt Tory government is stumbling from one cronyism row to the next, with this ruling just the latest in a long list of examples. The High Court only earlier this year ruled that Health Secretary Matt Hancock acted unlawfully after failing to properly publish details of multi-billion-pound contracts awarded during the pandemic.

"Boris Johnson and Michael Gove cannot attempt to brush this under the already stuffed carpet. They must now come before Parliament and set the record straight over how they have spent billions of pounds of taxpayers' money when dealing with Covid contracts."