Sir Patrick Vallance has a £600,000 shareholding in a pharmaceuticals giant which is racing to develop a Covid vaccine for the Government, a report has revealed.
In July, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and drugs multinational Sanofi agreed a deal with the UK Government to supply it with up to 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, subject to final contract.
It has a similar deal with the US Government for an initial 100 million doses.
But according to an investigation published today Sir Patrick, who also chairs the Government’s expert advisory panel on vaccines, holds a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GSK worth £600,000 from his time as president of the multinational drug company.
Indeed, the adviser has already cashed in more than £5 million worth of shares he received from the company during his tenure from 2012 until March 2018, when he became the Government’s chief scientific officer.
Accounts show he held 404,201 GSK shares when he left, worth £6.1 million at current values.
Earlier this week Vallance predicted the first doses of an effective vaccine might be available before the end of this year.
Speaking to The Telegeaph, a senior Tory MP and former Cabinet minister said he should have disclosed his interest.
“The policy of this Government is to try to suppress Covid-19 at every opportunity until we get a vaccine,” said the MP.
“That makes it more likely that a vaccine will be prioritised by the Government and he happens to be holding shares in one of the leading companies that are developing it. It is a potential conflict of interest.
“If he is making decisions on vaccines and advising the Government on them, then he either needs to divest himself of the shares or make a declaration every time he touches on the subject.
“In the Commons, every time MPs raise an issue in which there is a registered interest, they have to declare it. Every time he is talking about vaccines or on TV, he should put it on the table.”