UK’s Medical Regulator To Investigate Matt Hancock’s Pub Landlord Neighbour over £30million contract
Alex Bourne was the landlord of the Cock Inn in Thurlow, West Suffolk, and a former neighbour of Health Secretary Matt Hancock, whose company won a £30million government contract to make Covid test tubes, as well as around 500,000 plastic funnels for test samples.
Mr Bourne’s company, Hinpack, which was originally a packaging manufacturer with no previous experience of making medical supplies prior to the pandemic, is now reportedly under investigation by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
It was revealed last year that after a nationwide call to manufacturers to respond to the pandemic, Mr Bourne sent Mr Hancock a WhatsApp to his mobile on March 30, offering his services apparently beginning the exchange with, “Hello, it’s Alex Bourne from Thurlow”, but he insisted at the time that his relationship with Matt Hancock had nothing to do with his company winning the NHS contract.
It was reported by The Guardian that the investigation was launched after South Cambridgeshire council officers received concerns about the company’s hygiene and safety standards and passed them onto the MHRA, with Graeme Tunbridge, the MHRA Director of Devices saying, “We take all reports of non-compliance very seriously”.
He continued, “We are currently investigating the allegations about Hinpack and will take appropriate action as necessary. Patient safety is our top priority. As this is an ongoing investigation we are unable to disclose further information at this time”.
The investigations are a part of a probe into the Health Secretary’s apparent unlawful failure to publish details of contracts awarded to companies involving billions of pounds worth of government money on coronavirus-related materials and supplies.
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