Matt Hancock’s former pub landlord is supplying the Government with millions of Covid-19 test parts, despite having no experience in medical supplies, it is reported.
Alex Bourne approached the Health Secretary with a WhatsApp message, offering the services of his new manufacturing firm Hinpack, the Guardian reports.
At the time, the firm made plastic cups and takeaway boxes, but it now supplies two million test vials and funnels every week, through a distributor with an existing government contract.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Mr Bourne.
Mr Bourne, who once ran the Cock Inn, near Mr Hancock’s former home in Thurlow, West Suffolk, denies he profited from their acquaintance.
He told the Guardian he made an initial approach to the Health Secretary to supply PPE, but had been told to apply directly to the Department of Health.
Mr Bourne said: “We rang up the DHSC and we spoke to their purchasing managers very closely – he had no knowledge of those discussions.
“I know Matt Hancock, he is not a friend, he is an acquaintance. There is no link between the contracts we received and him.”
In April, Mr Bourne told the Guardian he was approached by a medical products distributor, who already had a government contract, asking if he could supply Covid-19 testing components.
He has reportedly now switched to a second distributor, also with a government contract.