On the 8th July Dido Harding insisted the scheme has been a success, despite SAGE saying the scheme has failed to slow the pandemic.
But now the Mirror has revealed that the Government won’t publish records of meetings between Dido Harding and Covid firms. This is likely to increase concerns that the scheme may not have been a success, as Harding claims, but quite the opposite.
Harding told MPs she was ‘proud’ of the work done by the £37billion much maligned Covid contact tracing system.
Facing a grilling on the scheme, Baroness Harding said the scheme had achieved its goal of helping break the chains of transmission.
She said: ‘I would actually argue — and I do appreciate that a lot of people listening to this will find this rather incredulous given some of the way it’s been reported — but I would actually argue that NHS Test and Trace has been a success.”
However, none of the meetings Harding held with private firms and consultants while running the UK’s £37 billion Test and Trace programme will be declared, the Government has said, reports The Mirror.
Ministers and senior officials are required to publicly declare any meetings with stakeholders or private companies.
However, no public record exists of any meetings held by Dido Harding and Matt Hancock.
Justin Madders, Labour ’s Shadow Health Minister, said: “Under Dido Harding’s leadership test and trace has been an absolute bonanza for the plethora of private companies who have been contracted to deliver elements of the service, despite the failure of the service to work properly.
“Failing to disclose details of these meetings is part of the wider pattern with this Government including the use of private emails, and handing contracts to their mates.”
The Good Law Project tweeted: ‘”You appoint your friends to key public sector posts – with predictably disastrous public health consequences. And then you refuse to disclose who they are meeting with? Who are they actually governing for?”
“You appoint your friends to key public sector posts – with predictably disastrous public health consequences. And then you refuse to disclose who they are meeting with? Who are they actually governing for?” – @JolyonMaugham https://t.co/Hp82FUEvbd— Good Law Project (@GoodLawProject) July 17, 2021
Johnson to isolate
Boris Johnson has abandoned plans to avoid quarantine after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace following a furious political backlash.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak had originally planned to take daily tests rather than self-isolate following meetings last week with Health Secretary Sajid Javid who has tested positive for Covid-19.
But in a dramatic turnaround Downing Street said the two ministers would be self-isolating rather than taking part in a daily contact testing pilot.
“The Prime Minister has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace to say he is a contact of someone with Covid,” a spokesman said.
“He was at Chequers when contacted by Test and Trace and will remain there to isolate. He will not be taking part in the testing pilot.
“He will continue to conduct meetings with ministers remotely. The Chancellor has also been contacted and will also isolate as required and will not be taking part in the pilot.”
The U-turn came less that three hours after No 10 announced the two ministers would carry on working in Downing Street while taking daily tests.