February 16th, 2012

Exclusive: Burnham’s Adviser and £170,000 of NHS Cash

The Department of Health was forced to apologise last night after it was revealed that 25 of their civil servants were paid via limited companies in what looks like a Whitehall-wide tax-dodge. This one is going to play and play, Guido imagines there are plenty of mandarins fretting about their accounting today. And BBC news presenters…

Normally you would expect the opposition to be leaping on a story like this, yet Andy Burnham is silent. Could that be because his senior advisor Kevin Lee uses a similar payment structure? As Guido reported in December, Lee is not paid directly by Labour Party HQ, he is instead paid via Lee Communications & Public Affairs Ltd. Assurances were given when Guido first started digging that Lee is no longer lobbying, or “consulting” as he was so keen to put it. If that is the case then why does he need to be paid through the company?

And that’s not the only awkward question Guido has for Andy and Kevin this morning…

When we revealed that Lee had been taken on in murky circumstances, Guido got FoIing. There were some awkward questions; firstly about at £20,000 loan Lee had given Burnham’s abortive leadership campaign, then the fact that the job had not been advertised publicly and there is no evidence that Kevin Lee had declared his own interests in the NHS and how he had made his money. Lee went to ground and Burnham refused to shed any light on whether due process had been followed.

We can now reveal that Lee worked on private projects which have cost the NHS at least £170,000. Though he set up the lobbying firm Lee Communications just one month after Andy Burnham became Health Secretary in 2009, Lee was previously a director of Vision 21. Despite telling Guido today that he’d never been “a health lobbyist”, Lee’s CV claims he was “responsible for establishing a Public Affairs portfolio” there. FoIs show that whilst Lee was at Vision 21, the NHS cash was flowing in. Including £92,486 from the East of England SHA, and £77,000 from NHS Southwark. Lee explicitly denies any contact with Andy Burnham whilst he was Health Secretary.

None of this information was made available when Lee was quietly put on to Burnham’s staff and Guido can see no evidence that it was taken into account. While Burnham moans about the death of the NHS due to privatisation, we revealed that his closest aide and campaign donor was a director of a company that made a six-figure sum from private NHS work. Lee is still claiming this morning that there was no need to declare this and there were no plans to ever make this public.


159 Comments

  1. 1
    Waterboard them! says:

    Bang to rights!

    Like

    • 4
      Labour Spokesman says:

      Taxes are for the little people.

      Like

      • 17
        Tottenham Chutzpah says:

        Quite right – withdrawal of-labour spokesman.
        They allow the little people to appreciate better the result of hard labour and thrift in their betters

        Like

      • 41
        Ha hah says:

        IR35 is only for ‘little’ people.

        Bastards.

        Like

        • 46
          I am an Ugly Bastard says:

          Would I be uglier as a UK toady or a free Noble Scot in my own homeland.

          Like

        • 89
          Cleaner who scrapes bogies from off the benches says:

          One more part of the legacy of Gordon the Nose-miner.

          Help IT in the UK (by specially allowing cheap foreign IT staff for big consultancies close to Labour).

          Help small and medium businesses (by kicking them in the nuts importing cheap foreign workers, and introducing yet more complex, unclear legislation on tax and employment).

          Help small family businesses (by depriving them of tax breaks which are still used by MPs, BBC news-readers, and civil servants).

          Like

        • 125
          Boyo says:

          Like its not enough for been overpaid for sorting NHS paperclips lets not pay any tax.

          Like

      • 124
        The Central Scrutinizer says:

        Where does this leave them with regards to public sector pensions?

        Are they on the pension – yet not actually on the payroll?

        Or, do they forego their civil service pension – and organise their own pension (as Director’s of their own limited companies)?

        Also, what about IR35? Doesn’t that stipulate that contractors that use limited companies cannot earn all of their monies from one client?

        Like

    • 5
      misterned says:

      Labour in double-standard hypocrisy shock!!! Labour privatised more of the NHS than Thatcher would ever have dared to. And where Thatcher sold public assets, to the public. labour’s privatisations were corrupt, grubby, closed door deals to their cronies aimed at shafting the tax-payer as much as possible.

      Like

    • 6
      Diane Abbott says:

      Taxes won’t stop for me.

      Like

      • 19
        Julie con-teacher says:

        I don’t need to pay any taxes at all for my non-teaching teaching job. Haringay pays any for me and, for my part, I don’t appear on the Staff list of Northumberland Park Community School.

        Simples!

        Like

    • 21
      AC1 says:

      IR35 was a political motivated assault on people unlikely to vote Labour.

      Like

      • 26
        lola says:

        Clearly IR35 doesn’t apply to quangoistas and other government apparatchiks. C***s.

        Like

      • 73
        ZaNuPolitics says:

        Thankfully during the last eighteen months the coalition have abolished such spiteful and arrogant nonsense and started repe-aling all the rest of the socialist dogma inspired authoritarianism…….haven’t they?

        Like

        • 99
          Cleaner who scrapes bogies from off the benches says:

          That might upset the senior ‘civil servants’ and the BBC, who like the current arrangement, and as MPs seem to do well from it also there’s not likely to be much of a push for equal/just treatment, unfortunately.

          But you’re right:
          - promises of repeals and quango bonfires seem to have been forgotten,
          - the plundering of the public purse continues,
          - and the idiotic, ideological Climate Change Act is still set to force us back to the Dark Ages, despite greater exposure of the so-called ‘science’ behind it.

          Like

    • 39
      Bystander #4 says:

      Looking forward to seeing the cross-wires up again Guido! All strength to you!

      Like

    • 56
      Anonymous says:

      Care to tell us why Spelman has got a court order to prevent the press mentioning details about her son?

      Like

    • 92
      Anonymous says:

      Is this another Foxy-Werritty type of obfuscation and dodgy dealing how many of the little darlings are at it, present, mob included with the last waste of spaces. It will need more than a Herchules to clean the Augean stables of all these practices in Parliament and business

      Like

  2. 2
    Andre Efiong says:

    Excellent work Guido, you’ve flushed out Burnham and got him on the run.

    People right at the heart of Labour are involved in these tricky shenanigans.

    Like

    • 34
      Pundit Too says:

      Andy Burnham is determined to get this year’s Olympic Gold medal for being the most hypocritical politician in Westminster. He is at least 100 metres ahead of his nearest rival Ed Balls Up who is just ahead of Harriet Harperson and wife.

      Like

      • 53
        Lord Prescott of Blubber says:

        Wha’ a boor me? Ah spent me entire career banging on about abolishing the privileged and undemocratic house of lords. Now, I’m a Lord meeself!

        An’ I spent the last year at me trough, complaining ’bout elected Police commissioners being bad for britain.

        Well guess what?

        No one is taking MY BIG FAT HIPPO-SHIT AWARD AWAY.

        Like

        • 67
          Boss Hog says:

          Well dang me, never knew I had relatives in Britainland, Hi coz how’s it hangin there boy?

          Like

          • Lord Prescott of Blubber says:

            Well well. I’m Lord Johnnies. That’s a Brit joke. Think of me as lord Trojan.
            Are you the Duke Of Hazzard? you must come over me gaff. gotta lovely ch-in-kie that takes ‘stolen’ credit cards.

            Like

        • 88
          Ladee Poorleen says:

          Don’t talk to him John.
          He’s a commoner.

          Like

          • Cleaner who scrapes bogies from off the benches says:

            Doffs cap, tugs foreskin

            The wheel-barrow of chips is here Your Ladyship. Shall I put it out by the croquette lawn?

            Like

  3. 3
    On Harman Pride's Dossier says:

    Oh ho ho! Looking forward to seeing the IR35 investigations for some of these……

    If only they could find one of these in HMRC, that would be the cherry on the icing on the cake

    Like

    • 7
      misterned says:

      To me, the frosting on the cherry would be nailing the BBC newsreaders and Guardian journalists for a tax-dodge.

      Like

      • 20
        annette curton says:

        The cake will never allow it.

        Like

      • 50
        Pundit Too says:

        Not just the news readers. I heard last year in India from a BBC person that the BBC chief foreign correspondent is also paid through his own company, one that also provides other services to the BBC – a total rip off. I bet the same goes for Dumbelby on Question Time plus first class expenses.
        The bbc this morning are on about this “slave practice” but in a soft voice as they know they are guilty of this not illegal but ethically unsound practice. The union representative for government public servants interviewed this morning was remarkably balanced on this issue and admitted that the “last government” began this process.
        Also the height of hyprocracy is in Nick Clegg supporting interns in being paid through addressing industry, when he and his party were revealed as starting this “slave practice” in Westminster, and not paying interns at all.

        Like

        • 85
          Fish says:

          I’m sure that I’d read somewhere that a previous DG of the BBC enjoyed the same arrangement

          Like

          • The Central Scrutinizer says:

            Correctomundo. John Birt was allowed to get paid like this.

            Once again I ask – WHAT ABOUT THEIR PENSIONS? Surely they have to forego them if they are not actually employed….!

            Like

        • 91
          Rachel Reeves looks like a man in drag. says:

          What about garbage like Thicktoria Derbyshire ? The Beeb pay to fly this munter up to Manchester daily.

          Why ?

          Can they not find someone up there who can slavishly toe the government line on Radio 5 ?

          Would love to know how this vile insect is paid.

          Like

  4. 8
    Bongler says:

    Unless he can offer a full explanation Burnham’s finished.

    Like

    • 13
      More mascara NOW says:

      In the bottom photo it seems that Andy has detected the stench of coruption. Into it up to your armpits Andy?

      Like

  5. 10
    Scalped says:

    ANDY BUNGHAM

    Like

  6. 12
    ToonBob... says:

    Cannot see the BeeB doing much with the story, better to give it to The Sun.

    Like

  7. 14
    Tottenham Chutzpah says:

    It’s gift, mate!

    Like

  8. 15
    annette curton says:

    Rotten to the core now, even the Inland Revenue £££’s all around.

    Like

  9. 18
    Penfold says:

    Burnham’s hypocrisy is par for the left.

    Good exposure of Lee and his links, nothing will come of it, as the left are altruistic and such links are right and proper and decent…………..unlike the capitalists and Tories which seek to grind down the working class and enslave them in perpetuity.

    Like

  10. 22
    Dr Liam Fox - Atlantic Bridge says:

    Can’t see what the fuss is about. Has this chap got a labour party logo on his business cards?

    Like

  11. 23
    Deep Froat says:

    Jonny Spelman – My guess is that it’s to do with Facebook and boasting about sex with extremely underage girls. Thanks to ‘the Streisand effect’ before I couldn’t give a toss. NOW I absolutely MUST know. I shall make it my mission to find out. Great strategy Mrs Spelman.

    Like

  12. 24
    Moral Collapse Blair in his Five Star Hotel in Jerusalem says:

    Are you sure that civil servants are not paid in offshore trusts Guido ?

    Like all those footie players ?

    It seems you have to be very stupid to pay any UK income tax nowadays

    ROFL

    Like

  13. 25
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Burnham just sums up labour hypocrisy. What has Tom Watson the peoples saviour got to say about it?

    Like

  14. 29
    Fish says:

    Burnham should never have been given the Health brief by Miliband whilst implicated in the Stafford disaster and the subject of a public enquiry (he recommended the hospital be given foundation status). If Cameron had made a gaffe like that, the BB-Guardian would never let it go.

    Of course Burnham says Stafford was nothing to do with him – he was only rubber stamping the foundation recommendation and if the people of Stafford were so concerned about all of their relatives dying they should have spoken up.

    To coin a phrase, Burnham has something of the night about him and as the old saying goes, ‘Show me a socialist and I’ll show you a hypocrite.’

    Like

  15. 30
    Anonymous says:

    nice one Guido

    are there any figures for how MPs are suffering due to austerity?

    Like

    • 33
      Ten years younger says:

      Harriets had to forgo that long awaited facelift since Jack took all the money for a s*x-change op, prior to being considered for that all-wimmins seat.

      Like

    • 48
      Handycock No 1Trougher in Parliament says:

      I am, especially as since I was exposed, I have had to stop paying my missus £20,000 a year for doing nothing.

      Like

      • 63

        Not for nothing. Part of the cash was to turn a blind eye to your trips to Russia with your intern for “research purposes” wasn’t it?

        Like

        • 157
          Moscow Mike Handycock (sex Tourist on Taxpayer's money) says:

          No I bought her a new car and lots of makeovers for that, or rather you taxpayer’s did. Boaz.

          Like

  16. 38
    50 Calibre says:

    Show me a straight politician.

    You can’t can you?

    Like

    • 112
      And the answer is ..... NO says:

      This question remains unanswered over 3 hours later!

      Like

      • 137
        The Central Scrutinizer says:

        Clealry politics is corrupt. It’s just the scale of it that varies.

        No-one thinks to question how the whips office works to bend ears (and minds) – and how gongs and titles are handed out to those that have helped those with the power to hand them out.

        Favours, access, patronage, jobs, contacts, contracts et al – all join up to manifest money and power

        It’s Tammany Hall on The Thames…..

        Like

  17. 45

    “Whitehall-wide tax-dodge” if your just catching on to this now I feel sorry for you. There has been an inside system for dodging taxes for as long as there have been warmth in the world.

    There is actually a book floating around with “rounded details” about the things you can and can not do and how to make sure the public don’t get wind of it.

    Your slow on the uptake.

    Like

    • 95
      Ex civil servant says:

      Rubbish

      Civil servants were alwayspaid in their own name and declared as such.

      I find it astonishing that civil sevrants can be paid into private companies

      Who do the private companies belong to . The man and his wife ?

      Can the said companies take bungs from private sector companies with which the said civil servants are delaing ?

      Has the whole British civil service system…Once one of the best in the world – just collapsed ?

      Like

      • 102
        I shall remain nameless says:

        My salary as a civil servant has been paid into a private company for the best part of thirty years. Which one? My bank of course. But at least it has always been in my own name.

        Like

      • 105
        Bernie the Bolt says:

        Im not sure the british civil service system has ever been the ‘best in the world’

        however I think we need look no further than Bliar to suss out when the recent rot that has afflicted the whole of the public sector set in – and by connection the whole of the population – try complaining about the NHS and see how far you get

        Like

    • 98
      oops says:

      Your? Educated under Liebore?

      Like

  18. 47

    The left seem to have developed a variety of privatisation for the few and not the many.

    Like

  19. 55
    Caroline says:

    I live and work in a town with a large government department. I know for a fact that many of the employees there work on contacts through limited companies. It is rife in the public sector. Am not sure how HMRC view it.

    Like

    • 60
      Robert Mugabe says:

      And the contracts are worded to ensure that they all get huge severance payments, pênsion top ups and multiple other fiddles

      Britain is way down on the list even of banana regimes

      Like

      • 103
        Caroline says:

        I know for a fact that all the contracts I have seen do not include severance payments nor pension payments of any kind. End of contract and you are out! Seen it happen

        Like

  20. 57
    Greek Prime Minister says:

    I always thought ypou wzere like us

    But we never managed tpo pay our civil servants through companies or our football players through offshore trusts

    You are giving us ideas

    Thank you

    Like

  21. 59
    Socialists = Sociopaths says:

    Mendacity and hypocrisy – it’s in Liebour’s D-N-A.

    Like

  22. 62
    The benighted George Osborne says:

    How can I cut the deficit when so many people are evading taxes ? Including those working for the public sector…

    Like

    • 118
      Cleaner who scrapes bogies from off the benches says:

      I have to correct you, George.

      Surely it should read “Including those paid by the public sector…, unless you have actual proof they produce anything useful?

      Like

  23. 64
    pissed off voter says:

    another excellent piece Guido. Just missing the crosshair. Let’s hope Cameron or his lackeys read this and take action against both of these duplicitous thieves.

    Like

  24. 65
    HMRC says:

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2011/11/25/collect-the-evaded-tax-avoid-the-cuts/

    How can we hope to stop tax evasion when they are cutting 12,000 of our jobs

    And BTW, the biggest banks notably the one with the three crowns have large departments devoted to tax avoidance schemes full time (and we bail them out every time they run out of liquidity)

    Like

  25. 68
    Disgusted taxpayer says:

    Guido

    It’s all revolving doors as you know

    Some “adviser” to a Minister then goes off to set up an “advisory company’, which then hires the Minister “cab for hire”

    Its simples and aided and abbetted by the totally corrupt system of “lobbyists” who buy and sell politicians and ciovil servants like I have coffees in the morning (or drinks in the evening)

    Like

  26. 70
    Lord Reith says:

    “This one is going to play and play”

    Most stories only play and play if the BBC want to keep fueling that story.

    Expect an impartial wall of silence.

    Like

  27. 74
    Anonymous says:

    They should be put into traction for this, the shady gits.

    Like

  28. 86
    Westminster Gossip says:

    As Daniel Defoe said in

    “The Political History of the Devil”: “Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed.”

    However for some the taxes bit is very uncertain indeed. Yet again the political classes are out of step with the public they claim to lead, they are democratically and morally bankrupt!!

    Like

  29. 94
    Illuminati says:

    We know that Whitney Houston has now joined Jacko and Elvis to wage war against us. Yes, she will be a formidable opponent. But we remain strong. We are the Enlightened Ones and we will never be defeated!

    Like

  30. 120
    nellnewman says:

    “there were no plans to ever make this public” No I’ll bet there wasn’t!

    How very labour. How very andyburnham.

    Like

  31. 122
    JUGS says:

    IT’S TRUE

    L
    A
    B
    O
    U
    R

    ARE

    F
    I
    L
    T
    H

    Like

  32. 128
    Labour member calls for bombing of tory conference says:

    Like

    • 150
      Sir Barnabas Scudamore says:

      IRA – still a REAL threat to the UK and to Her Majesty the Queen (especially in Her Majesty’s 60th year of impeccable service.)

      The person “liking” the idea of IRA bombings really should be taken to one side and asked some questions – at great length.

      Like

  33. 133
    richardj says:

    no doubt this all started under liebor – there are penalties and interest due on this type of scam and a possible criminal prosection! how lovely

    Like

  34. 134
    Taxfodder says:

    The usual suspects Burnham, Spelman, Laws and many more besides.

    Never far from controversy and never far from the trough.

    Like

  35. 135
    Jane Birkin from Paris says:

    Don’t just sit there grinning like a fucking Cheshire cat Guidedog.

    Get down to the old bill straight away with the paperwork . This evil socialist criminal activity has to be prosecuted.

    After all someone has to keep Huhne company in prison.

    I did not think it would be Andy Burslem but thinking about it he seems a right shifty bastard.

    Like

  36. 140
    BBC shirt lifting mong kiddie fiddler says:

    If it doesn’t involved Tories we’re not interested.

    Like

  37. 141
    gildedtumbril says:

    No doubt david dimplebum with his ‘fees’ paid by the bbc is another tax dodger. The ‘fees will be paid either to a dimplebum company or family trust fund. I smell a rat.

    Like

  38. 144
    'ow do says:

    Lets have a discussion about it on the Jeremy Vine Show – I don’t think so. I wonder how he would react to being called a Tax Dodger.

    Like

  39. 145
    wotson says:

    In the current Private Eye they reveal that even senior suits in HMRC have set up companies to recycle their salaries and the Student Loan Co. IR 35 apparently prevents private sector individuals from doing this but NOT public sector suits. How shit can this get.

    Like

    • 146
      gildedtumbril says:

      Bastards!

      Like

    • 156
      Ivor Tapeworm says:

      If their ‘pay’ is paid directly into their own companies, they are employed by their companies, not HMRC.

      THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY ENTITLED TO A SINGLE PENNY OF PUBLIC SECTOR PENSION AND THEY MUST NOT RECEIVE ANY.

      Like

  40. 148
    Sir Barnabas Scudamore says:

    I really want to write something unkind about Burnham – especially as he himself has the blood of NHS patients on his hands with regards to Staff’s Hospital.

    However, the fact that his face looks like an identyfit of a severe burns victim is enough to put me at ease !

    He is strange looking though, isn’t he ?

    Like

  41. 158
    NotaSheep says:

    I note that the BBC have yet to cover this story, I wonder why? Labour supporting, labour protecting scum.

    Like

  42. 159
    tory boys never grow up says:

    Could someone tell me why Michael Fallon MP Tory vice chairman and occaisonal media frontman is trousering c£13k a year (net) for being a director of a Swedish company which does outsourced work for the Scandinavian health services. I presume this is what is meant when Tories say they are interested in the Swedish model.

    Like


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