Dump Dido – end government cronyism

Dump Dido – end government cronyism

To: Matt Hancock, health secretary

Dido Harding is in charge of the failing Coronavirus test and trace service that’s handing over millions of pounds to private companies yet not reaching their goals week after week. It is a complete fiasco – and Dido has to go.

In fact, it’s fair to ask if she should have been appointed in the first place. Baroness Harding sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer, it’s a direct conflict of interest for her to be appointed in charge of a public service body.

Beyond that, there are claims that Dido was given her position without proper recruitment processes – the government handed her the top job without advertising the job. We call that cronyism.

And Dido has a long track record of failures. When she was chief executive of TalkTalk, she lost the details of four million customers in a cyber attack.

More recently, she was on the board responsible for letting the Cheltenham horse-racing festival go ahead in March – despite calls for it to be cancelled as it would be a breeding ground for coronavirus.

How can someone who was organising horse races during a pandemic be considered suitable to be in charge of fighting it?

It’s time to end government cronyism – starting by dumping Dido.

Highlighted comments

“I, and everyone I know, had to got through a proper recruitment process for every job I applied for to show I had the requisite skills and experience. If the government had used the same process we might not be in this state now.”

Petronella, Brighton

“There is no logical reason why Dido Harding was appointed to this post, and the result of the decision to do so has been a disaster for the UK.”

David, North London

“Any employee that had exhibited such a level of incompetence would have been dismissed within their first month – so should Dido.”

John, Wakefield

“This should be in the hands of local public health teams, the government should not be funding private companies to make profit from people’s deaths.”

Julie, Manchester

“Dido Harding should not be in post – she has no relevant experience or knowledge and has a track record of ineptitude and failure. She is a personification of this government’s cronyism and corruption.”

David, Norwich


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