Ex-minister Alun Cairns took job at Covid firm weeks before £75m contract

Alun Cairns, a former Welsh secretary, took a £15,000-a-year job at a diagnostics company a few weeks before it was part of a consortium that secured a £75 million government contract for lateral flow tests.

Alun Cairns is the latest Conservative MP to be revealed as having worked as a paid adviser to a company that was awarded valuable government contracts during the pandemic. Alongside parliamentary duties, he agreed to work up to 70 hours a year for BBI Group. BBI Group was part of a small group of companies led by Abingdon Health in the UK Rapid Test Consortium, which was working on a coronavirus antibody test.

Cairns started the position on July 1 last year, a month after the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had given the consortium £10 million for the materials it needed to produce a rapid antibody test. In mid-August the government handed the consortium a £75 million contract to produce one million lateral flow tests.

Full story The Times, 11 November 2021

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