Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that the £670,000 PR bill of vaccine taskforce head Kate Bingham, revealed over the weekend, “cannot be justified” at a time when people across the country are losing their incomes amid the coronavirus crisis.
Sir Keir Starmer’s comments come after The Sunday Times reported that according to leaked documents, Kate Bingham, chair of Boris Johnson’s vaccine taskforce, has charged taxpayers £670,000 for her own team of boutique PR consultants. Leaked documents also show that eight full-time consultants from London firm Admiral Associates are on the equivalent of £165K salaries.
Bingham, is married to Conservative MP for Hereford & Herefordshire South, Jesse Norman.
The claims also state that Alok Sharma, the business secretary, did not sign off the expenditure, which has cost around £500K already, with contracts running until the end of the year Instead, it was signed off by a civil servant.