Home NEWS Conservative MP Liam Fox denies helping Covid testing company land £500m contract

Conservative MP Liam Fox denies helping Covid testing company land £500m contract

by universalverge

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Tory MP who acquired a big donation from a Covid-19 testing firm has denied allegations he helped the agency safe a £500milion Authorities contract.

Liam Fox, MP for North Somerset, acquired a £20,000 donation earlier this 12 months from testing firm SureScreen.

In line with an e mail seen by Sky Information, dated June 22, 2020, Dr Fox emailed then Well being Secretary Matt Hancock to say the corporate had “carried out extraordinarily effectively in internationally performed trials” earlier than continuing to ask if Public Well being England would think about the corporate.

SureScreen Diagnostics would later be awarded a £500 million testing contract by the Division of Well being and Social Care.

The £20,000 donation to Dr Fox, a former defence secretary, is contained within the MPs’ register of pursuits and was recorded as being acquired in June 2022.

It’s not clear if something resulted straight from Dr Fox’s e mail, however a number of months later SureScreen was awarded a contract for a special sort of antigen check.

A spokesperson for North Somerset MP Dr Fox mentioned: “It is a baseless smear concocted by the political activist Jolyon Maugham and the Good Regulation Challenge. It’s appalling that this ought to be propagated by the BBC.

“Dr Fox shall be making a proper grievance to the BBC and is taking authorized recommendation on the matter.”

Mr Maugham is the manager director of The Good Regulation Challenge, which has sued the Authorities over its use of emergency powers throughout the pandemic to agree contracts with out opening them to competitors.

In a press release to BBC, SureScreen mentioned: “The donation to Dr Fox’s workplace – not Dr Fox personally – was made by one of many administrators of the enterprise. This donation was particularly to help a collection of occasions which embrace schooling talks from skilled visitors.

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“The cost just isn’t related in any approach to lobbying.”

Mr Hancock denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.

A spokesperson for Mr Hancock mentioned: “All DHSC (Division of Well being and Social Care) contracts are determined, priced and signed off by the civil service, who’re unbiased of Mr Hancock.

“If Mr Hancock acquired an e mail about increasing testing, in fact he would have acted on it regardless of the supply.

“Not to take action would have been fully irresponsible. Keep in mind: what was occurring on the time was a nationwide effort to increase testing, and all this uncovers is individuals working collectively to avoid wasting lives.”

A Division of Well being and Social Care spokesperson mentioned: “All testing suppliers – together with SureScreen Diagnostics – have been evaluated earlier than contracts have been awarded, according to stringent procurement rules and transparency tips.

“Assessments provided by the UK Authorities additionally underwent a rigorous scientific analysis course of earlier than distribution to ensure they have been extremely efficient at detecting Covid-19.”

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