Health secretary Andrew Lansley strenuously denied any links to private health today, telling MPs he had "no connection" with private healthcare companies.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley strenuously denied any links to private health today, telling MPs he had “no connection” with private healthcare companies. This despite strong evidence to the contrary, which we’ll come to shortly.
First, the question that so enraged Mr Lansley (Con, South Cambs), asked by Kerry McCarthy (Labour, Bristol East):
“In the wake of the defence secretary’s resignation, and the fact that 40 peers who voted on the health bill have got private sector health interests and given the Secretary of State’s own known connections with private healthcare companies, can the Secretary of State assure the House that he has been as transparent as possible about the influence of private healthcare companies on the passage of the health bill?”
At which he raged:
“I think the Hon. Lady should withdraw that. I have no connection with private healthcare companies and if I had so I would have entered it in the Register of Members’ Interests.”
Now, to the facts; let’s start with no less a source than the Daily Telegraph, which last January disclosed:
Andrew Lansley bankrolled by private healthcare provider…
John Nash, the chairman of Care UK, gave £21,000 to fund Andrew Lansley’s personal office in November. Mr Nash, a private equity tycoon, also manages several other businesses providing services to the NHS and stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Conservative policies to increase the use of private health providers.
All very below board – even more so when one fast forwards a year to February 2011, when the Sunday Mirror revealed:
A private health firm with close Tory links has won a £53million prison hospitals contract… despite an NHS bid offering a better service.
Care UK’s then boss John Nash and wife Caroline donated £200,000 to the Conservatives before the general election, including £21,000 to health secretary Andrew Lansley’s private office.
Now the company has won the huge contract to run health services for 5,000 prisoners at eight jails in north east England – with its cheaper, lower quality bid.
On Left Foot Forward, we’ve also long highlighted the health secretary’s links to private health (see links below).
For more, see this short film from our friends at Spinwatch; it takes you on a tour of the offices of just some of these healthcare companies, agencies and think tanks surrounding Parliament, all of which are lobbying to fundamentally change the NHS in their own interests – all of them supporters of Andrew Lansley and David Cameron:
As the film reveals, some of Lansley and Cameron’s backers have spoken of “denationalisation”, and called the NHS an “abhorrence”.
That the health secretary can address Parliament, and state with a straight face he has “no connection with private healthcare companies” beggars belief; with each passing day, the coalition’s health reforms look more and more like government of the private healthcare companies, by the private healthcare companies, for the private healthcare companies.
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• Lansley told to his face why his NHS reforms are wrong, wrong, wrong – Shamik Das, October 14th 2011
• Exposed: Lansley’s NHS reform cheerleaders – Tamasin Cave, March 16th 2011
• Lanlsley’s latest sop to private health should come as no surprise – Tamasin Cave, January 28th 2011
• Under the microscope: Lansley’s private healthcare supporters – Tamasin Cave, January 19th 2011
• Lansley’s links with health insurance industry – Tamasin Cave, October 6th 2010