Labour’s John McDonnell has demanded a ban on all private sector contracts being used for the UK’s coronavirus response services in a bid to end “rampant” conflicts of interest that have been exposed during Covid.
Calling for a moratorium on pandemic outsourcing, the former Shadow Chancellor highlighted the appointment of Tory peer Dido Harding as head of the test and trace programme – despite her having no experience working in healthcare.
The Hayes and Harlington MP also called attention to a former neighbour of Health Secretary Matt Hancock being awarded a contract for millions of NHS Covid-19 test vials – despite him having no prior experience in producing medical supplies.
The news revealed by The Guardian last month led to Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner calling the situation a “disgrace” and saying it showed the government was “making a mockery of the sacrifices that the British people have made”.
Unveiling his demand today, McDonnell said: “The public is fed up with story after story of contracts being handed out to government cronies, leading to billions of wasted money and policy failures.