Vaccine mastermind Kate Bingham says ministers may have acted in ‘bad faith’ by axing deal for Covid jabs from French company
- Ministers possibly ‘acted in bad faith’ when cancelling a deal for 100 million vaccines
- This was a claim made by the former head of the vaccine taskforce, Kate Bingham, last night
- Dame Kate said: ‘The Government alleged a breach of contract apparently as a means to avoid paying for the costs incurred up to that point’
Ministers may have ‘acted in bad faith’ when they cancelled a deal for 100 million Covid-19 vaccines made by French firm Valneva, the former head of the vaccine taskforce said last night.
Kate Bingham criticised the decision to pull out of the agreement with the pharmaceutical company before it had finished testing its jab.
Dame Kate, who stood down from the taskforce at the end of last year, said: ‘The Government alleged a breach of contract, apparently as a means to avoid paying for the costs incurred up to that point.
Kate Bingham criticised the decision to pull out of the agreement with the pharmaceutical company before it had finished testing its jab
Some might consider this behaviour as acting in bad faith.’
In a speech at Oxford University, she said the decision was wrong as the vaccine was found to be highly effective.
Separately, she also took aim at the Whitehall ‘Blob’.
The lack of scientific knowledge in Government and a ‘culture of group-think and risk aversion’ in the civil service was holding Britain back, she wrote in The Times.
In her speech, Dame Kate also attacked the ‘devastating’ lack of skills and experience in science and business in Government and a culture of ‘group-think and risk aversion’ in the civil service.
Her comments were the latest in a series of public criticisms of the Whitehall ‘Blob’, which is increasingly believed to be frustrating Ministers’ ambitions and holding back the country.
She added: ‘It is interesting to reflect that the behaviour of the Government appears to change significantly from my time in the VTF.
‘Officials have reverted to their usual practice and the pre-existing culture of distrust of business. It is hard not to see that a massive opportunity to win has been lost, indeed, converted into something of an own goal.’
Dame Kate went on in her speech: ‘The machinery of government is dominated by process, rather than outcome, causing delay and inertia.
At the weekend, Home Secretary Priti Patel was reported to have declared her own department as not fit for purpose
‘There is an obsessive fear of personal error and criticism, a culture of group-think and risk aversion that stifles initiative and encourages foot-dragging.
‘Government must be braver. It needs to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset in which people are rewarded for flair and results.’
There have been a string of criticisms of the public sector ‘Blob’ in recent days.
At the weekend, Home Secretary Priti Patel was reported to have declared her own department as not fit for purpose.
Civil servants were also blamed for watering down radical plans for low-tax, low-regulation freeports to drive the post-Brexit economy.
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