Jit­tery Min­is­ter stock­piles BABY MILK

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Harry Cole DEPUTY PO­LIT­I­CAL EDI­TOR

HEALTH Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock has or­dered the stock­pil­ing of for­mula milk to stop ba­bies go­ing hun­gry if Bri­tain crashes out of the EU, leaked plans re­veal.

The move came af­ter En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Michael Gove warned the Cab­i­net that 80 per cent of baby milk was im­ported from Europe and was at risk of run­ning out if ports were blocked by a dis­or­derly Brexit.

Mean­while, The Mail on Sun­day can re­veal that Mr Han­cock has given the green light to buy 5,000 gi­ant fridges cost­ing over £1 mil­lion to stock­pile medicines. A fur­ther £8.9 mil­lion is be­ing spent to help the De­part­ment of Health store drugs and med­i­cal sup­plies in ware­houses.

It will not be pos­si­ble to claw back the money if Bri­tain does leave the EU with a deal, but in­sid­ers in­sisted the bill came to less than half of the £21 mil­lion ear­marked by the Trea­sury for the task. When he was first ap­pointed to the Cab­i­net ear­lier this year, Mr Han­cock gave a speech declar­ing that as NHS boss he was now the le­gal owner of the ‘world’s largest col­lec­tion of fax ma­chines’ thanks to its out­dated prac­tices. Last night, a source close to the Health Sec­re­tary joked he could add ‘ the world’s largest pri­vate col­lec­tion of fridges to that’. A Gov­ern­ment spokesman con­firmed: ‘As part of our con­tin­gency plans, we are work­ing closely with man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­ply chains to en­sure that in the un­likely event of a no deal, sup­plies of baby for­mula will con­tinue un­in­ter­rupted.’

He added: ‘Our plan­ning will also en­sure that on the day the UK leaves the EU, we will have all the nec­es­sary re­sources to con­tinue to pro­tect UK con­sumers from food safety risks and give them ac­cess to spe­cial­ist food prod­ucts.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.