Matt Hancock has declined to apologise after the High Court ruled the government unlawfully failed to publish details of billions of pounds’ worth of coronavirus-related contracts.
The health secretary has faced calls for greater accountability after a judge said he did not publish redacted contracts in accordance with the transparency policy.
Hancock insisted legal cases about transparency returns were “second order” to saving lives and said his officials had been working long hours to procure PPE instead.
He told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “People can make up their own view about whether I should have told my team to stop buying PPE and spend the time bringing forward those transparency returns by just over a fortnight.
“Or whether I was right to buy the PPE and get it to the front line. You tell me that that is wrong. You can’t. And the reason you can’t is because it was the right thing to do.
“Legal cases about timings of transparency returns are completely second order compared to saving lives.”
Read more: Prat Hancock destroys the country and millions of lives and then refuses to reveal the companies he paid with our money to help him do it. Resign? What when he has no shame? Plus Hancock’s pub landlord neighbour who won £30million contracts to make Covid test tubes faces investigation by UK’s medical regulator
Matt Hancock’s pub landlord neighbour who won £30million contracts to make Covid test tubes faces probe by UK’s medical regulator
Matt Hancock’s former neighbour and pub landlord is under investigation by the UK’s medical regulator, it has been revealed.
Alex Bourne, who crossed paths with the Health Secretary while running the Cock Inn in Thurlow, West Suffolk, began producing millions of NHS Covid test vials during the pandemic after exchanging a personal WhatsApp message with Mr Hancock.
His company, Hinpack, which was originally a packaging manufacturer, won around £30million in work to supply a distributor contracted by the NHS with two million test tubes a week, as well as around 500,000 plastic funnels for test samples.
However the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now confirmed it has launched a probe into Mr Bourne’s company – which had no previous experience of making medical supplies prior to the pandemic.
It comes after the High Court ruled the Health Secretary unlawfully failed to publish details of billions of pounds’ worth of coronavirus-related contracts.
Read more: Matt Hancock’s pub landlord neighbour who won £30million contracts to make Covid test tubes faces probe by UK’s medical regulator