Matt Hancock’s ex-pub landlord was awarded a test kit contract despite having no experience of producing medical supplies.

The Health Secretary ’s former neighbour Alex Bourne won the contract to supply tens of millions of vials for NHS Covid-19 tests.

Mr Bourne also supplies around 500,000 plastic funnels for test samples in a contract believed to be worth millions of pounds.

He ran the Cock Inn, near Hancock’s former constituency home in West Suffolk, and offered his services in a personal WhatsApp message.

At the time, his firm Hinpack produced takeaway boxes and plastic cups. Mr Bourne denies he profited from his personal contact with the Health Secretary.

Mr Bourne won the test kit contract after messaging Mr Hancock on Whatsapp

The National Audit Office said PPE suppliers with Tory political connections were 10 times more likely to be awarded contracts.

The Department for Health and Social Care did not respond to requests for comment last night.

It comes amid government plans to implement a mass testing system, which is currently being trialled in Liverpool.

Mass testing could see Brits being able to use "freedom passes" for more freedom.

Mr Bourne is Matt Hancock's former neighbour

Following the initial success in Liverpool, a further three towns are to begin mass coronavirus testing it has been announced.

Around 1,000 soldiers will be deployed to help more than 100,000 residents get Covid-19 swabs, a government source revealed earlier this month.

The move is to see if the mass-testing scheme aimed at identifying asymptomatic coronavirus infections in Liverpool can work in smaller areas.

Alex Bourne will be producing vials for mass testing

A senior government source told the paper: "The point about mass testing is that if you can test a lot of people who have the virus, but don't have symptoms, and you can get them to isolate, you can reduce the spread of the disease."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for mass coronavirus testing, with rapid testing being offered to those in prioritised categories such as care home staff and residents, along with those working in food manufacturing plants.

Under new plans, those who are contacted under the test and trace system will no longer be told to automatically isolate for two weeks, but will be offered daily testing - and only made to isolate if they test positive.