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DCMS questioned on payments made to Hacker House

25 September 2019 (updated on 25 September 2019)

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Following the Supreme Court's judgment that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful, Layla Moran MP asked the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to make a statement about payments made by the Department to Hacker House, and on how the Department manages possible conflicts of interest.

Matt Warman MP, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told MPs;

"I would like to assure the House that all grants are awarded through an open, transparent and competitive process. Each grant is judged on specific assessment criteria and is approved by the panel, with cross-departmental and industry representation. We are, of course, aware of the claims raised recently by the Sunday Times and the department is reviewing the decision that was taken but we monitor all the initiatives that have been awarded grant funding and we treat any allegations and impropriety with the upmost seriousness."

 Layla Moran responded saying;

"I am concerned that the Department appears to have given Hacker House a £100,000 grant in January 2019 as part of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund, a grant that was open to initiatives based in, and that operate from Britain; and that furthermore these grants should not exceed  50% of the company's revenue. We now know that Hacker House is not based in the UK. The Sunday Times reports that its owner, Jennifer Arcuri, moved back to the USA in June 2018. These grants weren't open for application until November. The registered address of the company is in fact a house in Cheshire, where she used to rent and the current occupant apparently sends any post addressed to Ms Arcuri back to sender."

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