Consulting giant McKinsey brought in to advise on new agency launched without a plan by Hancock
Matt Hancock has shut down Public Health England – in the midst of a pandemic – apparently without having done any planning at all for what its replacement will do or how it will be run. Hancock said he planned a ‘full consultation’ on the role of the new body, which means he hasn’t decided anything about it before doing away with its predecessor.
Hancock has appointed Tory peer Dido Harding to run the new body, fresh from a data breach catastrophe at Talk Talk and the complete fiasco of the coronavirus test-and-trace app. Even the Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph is appalled at the evident ‘chumocracy’ of appointing someone with such a track record to such a key position.
The one thing Hancock does seem to know is that the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) will focus on ‘external’ health threats as its ‘single and relentless mission’ – which of course begs the question who will now protect against domestic threats to the public’s health (of which the Tories are of course one):
To compensate for the lack of any planning that an actual government might be expected to do, for the vagueness of consulting on everything – and in spite of NIHP already having a ‘single and relentless mission’ – Civil Service World reports that Hancock has decided to pay giant consulting firm McKinsey £563,000 to advise on the NIHP’s “vision, purpose and narrative”.
McKinsey is the former employer of new NIHP boss Dido Harding – and of her husband, a Tory MP and government ‘anti-corruption champion’. All’s fine there then.
Of course, the purpose of an organisation is normally decided before you create and launch it, especially when you are instantaneously vapourising its predecessor. But that’s about what everyone has come to expect with this Tory shambles.
A half-decent opposition should, of course, be making mincemeat of a government continuing to be so inept, not to mention a lot of noise.
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