The deadline to award a contract to make blue British passports after Brexit has been extended by two weeks following a request by bidder De La Rue, the prime minister’s spokesperson has said.
The move comes after anger at the announcement British passports would be produced by Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto when De La Rue’s contract ends in July.
The British firm said Gemalto was chosen only because it undercut the competition, but the UK company also admitted that it was not the cheapest choice in the tendering process.
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De La Rue will appeal decision to give blue passport contract
De La Rue said on Tuesday that it would appeal the decision.
A spokesperson for the company said: “We confirm that we are taking the first steps towards initiating appeal proceedings against the provisional decision to award the British passport contract to a part state-owned Franco-Dutch company. Based on our knowledge of the market, it’s our view that ours was the highest quality and technically most secure bid.”
The news comes after a campaign by the Daily Mail to reverse the decision to award Gemalto the contract.
A petition to award the contract to the British firm had gathered more than 266,000 signatures by Monday night.
Around 200 UK jobs are thought to be affected by the decision.