By Stephen Adams for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 01:53 BST, 16 June 2019 | Updated: 01:54 BST, 16 June 2019
The man in charge of Public Health England is to be hauled before MPs to explain how dozens of NHS hospitals were supplied with sandwiches potentially contaminated with lethal listeria.
As the death toll from the scandal rose to five, members of the Commons Health Select Committee said they will grill Duncan Selbie, the £185,000- a-year chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), over its handling of the outbreak and accusations that it hid the true scale of the problem.
PHE announced on Friday that the number of confirmed cases of listeria among NHS patients who had eaten the contaminated sandwiches had risen from six to nine since the previous week and that the death toll had gone up from three to five.
But the agency has remained tight-lipped on crucial details including when and where the fatalities occurred and the names of hospitals supplied with contaminated food.
Former Health Minister Ben Bradshaw yesterday criticised Mr Selbie for leaving the crisis in the hands of his deputies.
Speaking out: Former Health Minister Ben Bradshaw has criticised Mr Selbie over his handling of the crisis
Facing up to MPs: Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), will have to explain how the sandwiches ended up in hospital
'Hiding away is not an acceptable way for a publicly funded – and accountable – health protection agency to behave,' said the Labour MP, adding that Mr Selbie, a former hospital administrator, would soon be called to give evidence to MPs.