Private Covid testing firm hires Boris Johnson's half-brother Max
Private Covid testing firm hires Boris Johnson’s half-brother Max in hope he can ‘open doors’ for them to work with government
- Max Johnson, 35, has joined the board of private ‘wellness’ firm REVIV Global
- Firm has branched out into testing for Covid-19 by offering private antigen tests
- Staff at REVIV are holding talks with the government over coronavirus testing
- The appointment has been met with criticism and was branded ‘concerning’
A coronavirus testing firm has hired Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s half-brother as it hopes he can ‘open doors’.
Max Johnson, 35, has joined the board of private ‘wellness’ firm REVIV Global which specialises in providing vitamin injections delivered through IV drips.
But the company has recently branched out into testing for Covid-19 by offering private antigen tests for £89 each.
The appointment has been met with criticism and was branded ‘concerning’ as senior staff at REVIV begin now holding talks with the government over coronavirus testing.
A coronavirus testing firm has hired Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s half-brother Max (pictured together) as it hopes he can ‘open doors’
REVIV’s Medical Director Dr Michael Barnish said he hoped that by getting Max Johnson on board would help them ‘open doors’.
The company’s tests are currently operating beyond the NHS Test and Trace system.
But Dr Barnish told the Mirror: ‘They’re outside of the national system, but we’re absolutely happy to work with the national system.
‘I personally haven’t been in any talks with them, but I know full well that our CEO has – and obviously Max Johnson, etcetera… there are talks going on.
‘We’re happy to support in any way we can the government testing strategy.’
Sarah Lomas, the CEO and President of REVIV Global, said in a press release: ‘The appointment of Max Johnson comes at an exciting and critical point in our shift to the Med-Tech sector.
‘Having built a global preventative health brand in 41 countries, we are ready for aggressive growth.
‘The current pandemic has created unprecedented investment opportunities for REVIV.’
Labour Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Helen Hayes has criticised the appointment
Mr Johnson himself has said he was honoured to join the firm but the move has been criticised by Labour Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Helen Hayes.
She told the publication: ‘It is unacceptable for businesses to take advantage of the government’s incompetence and charge £89 for the privilege of using the same labs as the national Test and Trace system.
‘The fact that a relative of the Prime Minister is now being employed by the same business is concerning.
‘Such a connection must not in any way influence Government decisions which must always be taken objectively, fairly and in the national interest.’
In April, REVIV was forced to delete a blog post after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it had suggested the firm’s ‘Megaboost’ Vitamin drip could be used to prevent Covid-19.
MailOnline has contacted REVIV Global and Max Johnson for comment.
The appointment comes just days after it was announced the UK may be ‘weeks behind’ its target of 500,000 tests a day due to a shortage of vital chemicals and analysing machines.
Boris Johnson pledged to more than double current capacity from 260,000 by the end of October, despite backlogs in laboratories and Britons being asked to drive hundreds of miles to get a swab.
But it appears the government’s desperate drive to boost testing ahead of the winter will not be delivered because manufacturers can’t make enough chemical reagents and analyser machines in time.
The shortage adds to Britain’s ongoing testing fiasco, which was also blamed on a lack of staff.
The appointment comes just days after it was announced the UK may be ‘weeks behind’ its target of 500,000 tests a day due to a shortage of vital chemicals and analysing machines
Britons all over the country were last week unable able to get swabbed for the disease — despite some drive-in sites standing completely empty.
Boris Johnson was forced to admit that Britain doesn’t have the capacity to carry out the number of Covid-19 tests it needs to.
And Baroness Dido Harding, head of Test and Trace, revealed demand was four times higher than capacity.
In response to the issue, the Department of Health this week unveiled a rationing list for swabs.
Hospital patients, care home residents and NHS staff are at the front of the queue, and teachers are fifth in line — behind the thousands of volunteers taking part in surveillance studies.
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