FIFTY million face masks bought by the Government but which will not be used in the NHS due to safety concerns has been branded a 'shocking waste of taxpayers' money' by Oxford MP Layla Moran.

The masks, ordered from Ayanda Capital as part of a £252 million contract, have ear loops rather than head loops, and there are concerns over whether they are adequate.

The Government confirmed in court papers that the masks, which are now in the Department of Health and Social Care's logistic chain, will not be used in the NHS.

The Good Law Project and EveryDoctor, which are suing the Government over its Ayanda contract, estimate the 50 million masks would have cost more than £150 million.

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Ms Moran, who is also chair of the all party parliamentary group on coronavirus, said: "The government has serious questions to answer over this shocking waste of taxpayers' money.

"We urgently need a clear strategy for procuring PPE so that NHS and care staff on the frontline are not left without."

She added: "That should include a review of the process for handing out contracts to prevent these colossal errors from happening again.

"It's vital that ministers act on the recommendations of the cross-party inquiry I'm chairing so that lessons are learned ahead of a potential second spike later this year."