Coronavirus UK updates: Hancock ‘did not know’ of Vallance’s shares in vaccine maker

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Coronavirus UK Updates: England covid deaths rise by 350 in NHS hospitals
Coronavirus UK Updates: England covid deaths rise by 350 in NHS hospitals

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said he did not know of UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance’s shares in a drug company contracted to develop a coronavirus vaccine for the government until reading about it in a newspaper.

According to the Telegraph, Sir Patrick holds a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) worth £600,000 from his time as president of the multinational drug company.

Asked whether there was a conflict of interest on LBC radio, Mr Hancock said: “No, there are rules around these kinds of things and I’m sure that Sir Patrick has been fully advised by them.”

He added: “The thing about the vaccine is actually the Oxford vaccine is being developed by AstraZeneca which is one of GlaxoSmithKline’s biggest competitors so I think if you know Sir Patrick Vallance as I do, any suggestion that he is doing anything other than his level best to try and tackle this virus is wrong.”

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