The Legal Services Commission has delayed the announcement of the outcome of the mental health tender.

It said: ‘Following the election we will need to discuss the outcome of the tender process with any new ministers, and it is likely that notification to applicants will take place shortly after this.’

Firms were due to be notified on 26 April, but the LSC contacted applicants on that date saying they would not be told before 6 May.

A Law Society spokesman said: ‘We find it hard to understand what ministerial input would be necessary, or indeed appropriate, in the context of the allocation of contracts following a formal tender process, and are seeking urgent clarification from the LSC.’

In relation to the criminal tender, firms that appealed after failing to get contracts were due to be notified of the outcome of those appeals by 23 April. The LSC has said that due to the high volume of appeals, decisions will not be given until next week. The deadline for firms to submit applications for duty solicitor slots has therefore had to be extended from 30 April to 7 May.