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New £347m Covid contract for Tory-linked firm involved in testing failure

Randox, the Tory-linked private healthcare company whose testing kits had to be recalled over the summer because of concerns about contamination, has been awarded a new £347m Covid-19 testing contract by the UK government.

The deal is a six-month extension of an existing contract and was agreed without other companies being invited to bid. It means the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has now approved transfers of nearly half a billion pounds in taxpayer funds to the Northern Ireland-based company since the pandemic began.

The information was disclosed in a filing on a European contracts website, and has prompted concerns about “cronyism” and calls for an independent inquiry into the £12bn spent so far on attempting to control the pandemic through the test-and-trace system.

Full story in The Guardian, 4 November 2020

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