Conflict of interest row emerges as Chief 'Doomsday Theorist' holds over 43,000 shares in drugs company, worth £600,000, contracted to provide the 'cure' for Covid-19.
Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Officer advising Boris Johnson on the Coronavirus not only holds deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from his time as president of the multinational company, but has already sold more than £5 million in shares he received in 2019, when he was appointed by the Government.
Vallance, who also chairs the Government's expert panel on vaccines, predicted at a news briefing this week that the first effective doses of a jab might become available on a limited basis by the end of the year. Vallance this week, along with Chris Whitty, presented their now infamous 'prediction/not prediction' graph showing the rise of coronavirus cases, to an alarming level, which was the evidence used for the basis of further restrictions and lockdowns.
GSK has been contracted to make much of the UK's Covid-19 vaccines, with the government reported to have already purchased 70 million doses for when they become available. A colossally lucrative contract that will make Vallance one of the richest men in the country.
A senior Conservative MP and ex-Cabinet minister told The Telegraph that Sir Patrick should have declared his stake in GSK. Going on to say "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."
The Government said that Sir Patrick Vallance 'holds a deferred share bonus which will mature in April 2021' but declined to comment on the size of the holding or its value. The Government also denied that there was any 'wrong doing' over Vallance's conflict of interests, saying "Upon his appointment, appropriate steps were taken to manage the Government Chief Scientific Adviser's interests in line with advice provided at the time."
However, the deal will make Vallance one of the richest men in the country, putting him well into the 1%, declared or not is almost irrelevant. It is the PUBLIC who need the information on Vallance, Whitty and Ferguson in order for them to make informed decisions about what they are saying. Currently, they are using the 'Argument from Authority' technique. A psychological strategy that distances the user from the mark. But without putting their statements into context, like; 'is there any financial incentive in what they are saying', then the public are being actively misled.
We must call on the government to release all of the information about Ferguson, Whitty and Vallance, so WE, the public, can decide if we believe what they're saying or not. Because, at the moment, it looks suspiciously like Vallance told ridiculous scare stories to line his own pockets.
Darren Birks is the Editor of Vision News Online