THE wife of South Herefordshire’s MP - vaccine taskforce chief Kate Bingham - has come under fire after taking part in a US venture capital conference.
According to the Sunday Times, the head of Britain’s Covid vaccine effort, disclosed “official sensitive” government documents to a $200-a-head conference in America last week.
She was appointed to the taskforce role by PM Boris Johnson in May and reports directly to him.
The Government, in which her MP husband Jesse Norman is Financial Secretary to the Treasury, defended her on Sunday over her participation in the venture capital conference, saying her presence was approved and “she said little” that expert delegates could not deduce.
Ms Bingham, a venture capitalist, spent an hour talking about the UK Government’s coronavirus strategy to a ‘premier webinar and networking event’ for women in private equity hosted by a Massachusetts company, according to the article published in the paper.
The Government has since responded saying: “Inaccuracies are being addressed with The Sunday Times.
“A presentation she gave to a women’s conference in the United States was the focus of the article.
“The fact of her appearance and the content of her presentation received approval from officials at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy in line with the process governing such engagements.
“Kate Bingham focused on publicly available information and said little that expert delegates at the conference could not deduce themselves.
“Kate Bingham is uniquely qualified for the role of Chair, having worked in the biotech and life sciences sectors for 30 years.
“While not specifically a vaccines expert, she is a proven drugs discovery expert with superb deal-making skills and an excellent global reputation, recently appearing alongside Bill Gates at the Gates Grand Challenge Conference.
“She is well known and highly rated by multinational pharmaceutical and vaccine companies.
“She has a first class degree in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, an MBA from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar) and is a board member of the Francis Crick Institute.
“Her investments have led to the launch of six drugs for the treatment of patients with inflammatory and autoimmune disease and cancer.
“Kate stepped back from her full-time role as Managing Partner at SV Health Investors to take on this role as Chair of the Taskforce, for which she is unpaid.”
Ms Bingham, who married Jesse Norman in 1992 before he became MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire in 2010, has been described as a leading figure in the life sciences sector by the UK Government.