Parliament hears more concerning allegations of money being wasted at Leamington's Covid 'megalab'
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western asked Health Secretary Sajid Javid to look into claims that some scientists are being paid a week's wages for one day's work at the Rosalind Franklin Covid testing lab.
But Mr Javid was not able to answer his question and asked him to put it in writing to him.
"The Health Secretary Sajid Javid dodged my question about the Rosalind Franklin Covid testing 'Megalab' in Leamington," said Mr Western.
"He must know it's the last remaining test and trace lab and it is only working at less than 20 per cent its original intended capacity.
"It also cost the taxpayer £1.1billion - which is twice its original allocated budget.”
Addressing the claim, Mr Western said: "I'm being told by multiple sources that some scientists are being paid a week's wages for one day's work.
"The Minister must be concerned by the reports emerging from the lab. Yet so far we've heard nothing from him or the Government."
We asked the UK Health Security Agency to address these claims. They did not answer the question directly but did say: “The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory continues to play a critical role in the pandemic response, processing COVID-19 tests to protect people most vulnerable to the virus.
"The laboratory also provides security and resilience so the UK can respond to any future health threats, such as a new COVID-19 variant.
“As the public would expect, capacity and staffing levels at the Rosalind Franklin laboratory is adjusted dependent on need and it’s important to have this flexibility, as the current rise in COVID-19 cases demonstrates.
"We continuously monitor and forecast demand to ensure we have the right staff across a number of roles, including specialist bioscience roles. This means we can deliver the best possible value for money to the taxpayer.”
In April, an investigation by The Independent newspaper claimed the laboratory, known as the Mega-lab, has been plagued by major testing issues, allegations of cover-ups and is subject to health and safety concerns.