UK took 'political decision' not to take part in EU procurement scheme

Whitehall sources have suggested that the most senior civil servant at the Foreign Office misspoke when he told MPs that a ministers made a "political decision" not to take part in an EU scheme to obtain medical equipment to help fight coronavirus.

Speaking to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee by video link Sir Simon McDonald said that ministers had turned down an invitation to join a procurement scheme.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock later denied there had been a political decision not to participate.