But over the past 20 years, local authorities have started to take a more police-like role. They issue an increasing number of penalties, carry out patrols, and issue new legal orders. This trend has been furthered under Covid, with new powers and funding to issue legal orders and penalties, and a new patrolling role for ‘Covid marshals’, who ensure businesses and individuals are following social-distancing rules. Over time, local authorities have also been increasingly released from legal and governmental checks on how powers are used, meaning that they now hold remarkable power over the lives of citizens.
This is the first instalment of my three-part investigative report on the Chinese-made Innova lateral flow test. Vast sums of UK taxpayers’ money have been paid to a California start-up for tests that have failed to stand up to scrutiny.
…Innova Medical Group, the company benefiting from the UK Government’s huge testing contract, is owned by the private equity group Pasaca Capital which was founded by a Chinese investment banker, the enigmatic Dr Charles Huang, in 2017. It has been revealed to be the single largest recipient of the Department of Health’s Covid contracts after signing a £496million deal to supply LFTs last year. An earlier contract with Innova cost the taxpayer £107million.