Steve Dechan has distanced himself from Siobhan Baillie as the row over government PPE contracts rumbles on.

The Stroud businessman, a former Conservative councillor on Stroud Town Council, has repeatedly denied claims his company, Platform 14 Medical, unfairly benefitted as a result of his political affiliation.

A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) found that PPE suppliers with political connections were directed to a 'high-priority' channel where bids were more likely to be successful.

It also found that more than half of all Covid-19 contracts were awarded without a competitive tender process.

Platform 14 were awarded contracts worth in excess of £270m.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Mr Dechan had spent £1.5m on a grade II listed home in Painswick Valley.

Mr Dechan maintains he still does not know whether or not there was competitive tender, and has previously welcomed scrutiny from the NAO.

He said: "We had no VIP or fast track. No help.

"It was done on merit, great price, great PPE delivered in amazing time.

"How many front line workers did we protect? Answer: hundreds of thousands.

"We didn’t and still don’t know if it was a competitive tender or not, we still assume it was. That’s a question for the buyers."

Clarifying his relationship with Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie he added: "I helped Siobhan’s successful general election campaign, that’s it.

"Siobhan and I have never worked together."

READ MORE: Platform-14 Medical to open new premises in Stroud