MICHAEL Gove has been scolded by doctors after coming to the defence of a scandal-ridden vaccine chief.
The Cabinet Secretary stood up for Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Government’s coronavirus vaccine taskforce, after a series of revelations about her use of public funds.
The Sunday Times reported that she had billed taxpayers £670,000 for a team of personal public relations consultants called Admiral Public Relations.
The Financial Times revealed yesterday that Admiral PR director Angus Collingwood Cameron is a longstanding business associate of Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law.
It is unclear what process Boris Johnson used to appoint venture capitalist Bingham – who is married to Tory minister Jesse Norman, went to school with the PM’s sister, Rachel, and studied at Oxford at the same time as the Tory leader.
READ MORE: Vaccine tsar married to Tory minister spent £670,000 of taxpayer’s cash on PR
Gove responded angrily to public outrage over the reports, accusing critics of sexism.
He tweeted: “It’s difficult to know where to start with this … Kate Bingham has given up months of her life to deliver vaccines that will save lives, has secured access to millions of Pfizer doses and has to put up with this sexist sniping – #vaccineheroine.”
That provoked a scathing reply from palliative care doctor and author Rachel Clarke, who highlighted the UK Government’s failings on personal protective equipment (PPE).
She wrote: “Excuse me? Over 600 of my NHS & care colleagues have given up their *actual* lives to help patients with Covid. Some of whom begged for proper PPE before they died. PPE your government singularly failed to deliver.
“That’s heroism, Mr Gove. And those deaths? They’re unforgivable.”
Excuse me? Over 600 of my NHS & care colleagues have given up their *actual* lives to help patients with Covid. Some of whom begged for proper PPE before they died. PPE your government singularly failed to deliver.
That’s heroism, Mr Gove. And those deaths? They’re unforgivable. https://t.co/QpPmI6nN8z
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) November 10, 2020
Gove was also met with a withering response from Dr Xand van Tulleken, a regular contributor on medical television shows.
He tweeted: “It’s also quite difficult to know where to start with this…”
It’s also quite difficult to know where to start with this… https://t.co/d03ldwu7Pp
— Dr Xand van Tulleken 🏳️🌈 (@xandvt) November 11, 2020
Downing Street has denied any suggestions of wrongdoing over the vaccine taskforce’s use of public funds or its connections to Dominic Cummings.
An official told the FT: “It is ridiculous to make such an imaginary and tenuous link. Dominic Cummings has never heard of Georgina or Angus Cameron.
“Specialist communications support was procured by the Vaccine Taskforce in line with proper practice.”