By John Smith • 26 April 2020 • 14:52
WHEN it was announced that James Dyson had been asked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to produce 10,000 ventilators for the NHS there were numerous accusations of nepotism.
Dyson was a well-known supporter of the Conservative Party and as his company had no experience of production of such machines it certainly appeared too many to be a strange decision.
Now it has emerged that despite mobilising his workforce to effectively invent a new style of ventilator, the company was unable to obtain certification from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
He has told his staff that the order has now been cancelled and that the company is currently left with a development bill of £20 million (€23 million) but he has vowed not to apply for any state financial support to cover this amount and that if he is unable to sell the product elsewhere, then the company will write off the money.
It appears that prior to Boris Johnson’s isolation due to Covid-19, a number of senior Tory backbenchers had criticised the way in which Dyson was promoting his involvement as a PR opportunity.
Many companies were asked to try to produce ventilators in order to assist the government which was late ‘getting off the blocks’ and not only did it appear to miss the EU procurement opportunity it was also beaten by the German government when it went to obtain a supply overseas.
Now British company Penlon has received an order to supply 15,000 of its approved ventilators.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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