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HomeUKUK Well being Secretary’s ex-neighbour & pub acquaintance awarded Covid-19 test-kit contract...

UK Well being Secretary’s ex-neighbour & pub acquaintance awarded Covid-19 test-kit contract after chat on WhatsApp – report

UK Well being Secretary Matt Hancock’s former neighbour has landed a contract to produce thousands and thousands of Covid-19 vials to the NHS after the 2 males exchanged messages on WhatsApp, a report says.

Hancock’s outdated acquaintance, Alex Bourne, was awarded the contract to produce medical-grade vials for Covid-19 check kits to the NHS a number of months in the past, the Guardian reported.

Till the tip of 2017, Bourne and his spouse ran the Cock Inn, a village pub in Thurlow, just a few hundred yards from Hancock’s former constituency residence in Suffolk. Hancock attended its reopening after renovation in 2016, and nominated it for the Parliamentary Pub Chef Awards the next yr. The politician even printed a picture of himself with Bourne on his marketing campaign web site, praising the “improbable” meals served on the Cock Inn.  

The Guardian stated Bourne’s attorneys initially denied that he had any discussions with Hancock about Covid-19 provides. Bourne later admitted to the paper on Monday that he had, in reality, reached out to Hancock through WhatsApp messenger to supply assist in April when the nation was first hit by the pandemic. His first message learn: “Hi there, it is Alex Bourne from Thurlow.”

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The pair then exchanged texts and emails over a number of months, the Guardian stated. Bourne additionally participated in an trade Zoom name with Hancock, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and different suppliers of Covid-19 check gear in August.

The paper quoted Bourne as saying that he hoped to repurpose his packaging agency Hinpack, which was making plastic cups and takeaway packing containers, to make private protecting gear (PPE). Hancock reportedly suggested him to submit the details about his firm to the Division of Well being and Social Care (DHSC) web site, which he did.

A number of weeks later, Bourne was contacted by a “main distributor” of medical gear that had already been contracted by the NHS and was searching for somebody to provide coronavirus-related objects, reminiscent of drop-wells and pipette suggestions.

Bourne responded by saying his agency may make vials, and, after consulting with the employees on the DHSC, started producing round two million vials every week, in addition to round 500,000 plastic funnels for check samples.

Bourne denied having ever profited from his private contact with Hancock, whereas his authorized crew insisted the lads shared no “shut private connection.”

“I’ve by no means as soon as been to his home,” Bourne informed the Guardian. “He is by no means been to mine. I’ve by no means as soon as had a drink with him.” The DHSC informed the paper it was not commenting on Hancock’s private relationships. 

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