Spymaster set up introductory meeting for Palantir with Cabinet Office permanent secretary


Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6 between 2009 and 2014, set up a meeting between Palantir CEO Alex Karp and the Cabinet Office permanent secretary, John Manzoni, in 2019; a year later the US-based company was awarded a £27 million contract to process border and customs data without competitive tender. Palantir's strategy appears to be to offer £1 contracts to provide services to gain a footing, and then raise prices once established. It has also hired former public servants and NHS executives. Labour has called for more scrutiny of more recent deals with Palantir, which include a £480 million contract to manage NHS data awarded in autumn 2023.


Publication: Open Democracy

Writer: Lucas Amin and Jenna Corderoy