Health Secretary Matt Hancock is accused of ‘cronyism at the heart of government’ by Labor after it was revealed he had received shares in a family business that did business with the NHS.
Mr. Hancock said in the Members’ Common Register of Interests that he now owns shares in Topwood Ltd, a waste disposal company owned by his sister and other family members.
It was reported this week that the company had won two contracts worth £ 300,000 by NHS Wales, for which Mr Hancock has no responsibility, health being vested in the Welsh government.
It is shocking, but unfortunately I suspect that no one is more surprised by the cronyism at the heart of this government. https://t.co/NsBMpURpys
– Jonathan Ashworth 😷💙 (@JonAshworth) April 15, 2021
But the Health Service Journal has now reported that Topwood also secured a “framework agreement” to provide services to the NHS in England in 2019, as well as its contracts in Wales.
The HSJ also claims that Mr Hancock failed to declare his connection to the company in the relevant register of interests, a charge dismissed by the Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC).
In the Members’ Interest Register, Mr Hancock says he received a “gift” of 15% of the issued share capital of Topwood Ltd, his sister company, under a “delegated management agreement”.
Responding to the HSJ report, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “Shocking, but sadly I suspect no one is surprised by the cronyism at the heart of this government anymore.”
But insisting that the Health Secretary did nothing wrong, a government spokesperson told Sky News: “Mr. Hancock acted perfectly correctly in these circumstances.
“All declarations of interest have been made in accordance with the ministerial code. Ministers are not involved in the award of these contracts and no conflict of interest arises.”
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This notice was published: 2021-04-15 22:12:00