Boris Johnson faces barrage of criticism for claiming ‘greed’ is behind Covid vaccine success

Boris Johnson is facing a barrage of criticism after he told Tory MPs that he believed “greed” was behind the success of the UK’s Covid vaccination programme.

Campaigners said the prime minister’s comments showed he had a “warped” understanding of how the vaccine had been developed and how why the UK’s rollout had so far been so successful.

In comments first reported by The Sun newspaper Mr Johnson told told a video call with Conservative backbenchers: “The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed, my friends.”

Apparently sensing he had made a gaffe, the Tory leader is understood to have repeatedly asked those at the 1922 Committee meeting to forget he used the term.

But campaigners pointed out that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that had led the charge of the UK’s vaccine effort had been developed by publicly funded universities.

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