An acquaintance and former neighbour of Matt Hancock is supplying the government with tens of millions of vials for NHS Covid-19 tests despite having had no previous experience of producing medical supplies. Alex Bourne, who used to run a pub close to Hancock’s former constituency home in Suffolk, said he initially offered his services to the UK health secretary several months ago by sending him a personal WhatsApp message. Bourne’s company, Hinpack, was at that time producing plastic cups and takeaway boxes for the catering industry. It is now supplying about 2m medical grade vials a week to the government via a distributor contracted by the NHS. Bourne categorically denies he profited from his personal contact with Hancock. However, the case raises questions for the health secretary and is likely to reignite the row over alleged government cronyism during the pandemic. Contacted last week by the Guardian, Bourne’s lawyers flatly denied that their client had any discussions with Hancock in relation to Covid-19 supplies. However, on Monday, after being confronted with further details about his interactions with the health secretary, Bourne backtracked. In a phone call with the Guardian, he conceded that he has in fact exchanged text and email… Read full this story
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