Friday, October 4, 2013

Tories Call For Burnham to Resign

Some determined FoI-ing from Tory MP Stephen Barclay published in the Mail and the Telegraph today. Email chains from ministers and officials serving in the previous government show how Labour tried to block the release of a report into neglect at NHS hospitals. Barclay is now calling for Burnham to go:

“Labour tried to cover up failing hospitals before the last General Election. Andy Burnham told the House of Commons in July there was no shred of evidence of political interference with the health regulator. But these emails show a clear paper trail of political meddling – leading back to him. He needs to correct his statement when Parliament returns on Monday. Andy Burnham owes a big apology to the patients and families who suffered, and he should resign. No one will ever trust Labour with our hospitals again.”

Which only increases the chances of him staying…

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Life of Andy Burnham, Starring Michael Le Vell

This one is definitely not coming soon to cinemas near you. As Guido reported in his Sun column yesterday, who did man-of-the-people Andy Burnham name as the actor he would choose to play him in a film of his life during an interview? “The bloke who plays Kevin Webster in Corrie”. That would be Michael Le Vell, the soap star in the dock over child sex abuse allegations. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tories Call For Burnham to Resign

Last night around 50 Tory MPs were briefed by Jeremy Hunt ahead of today’s statement on Bruce Keogh’s mortality review. One attendee tells Guido they will call for Burnham to resign for “failing to defend patients”, accusing him of a “catastrophic failure” and insisting his position is “untenable”. The Tories will claim “these hospitals failed on their watch”, that Labour “ignored the warnings” and “instead tried to cover things up”. One Tory MP warns Guido “we really want to do the business today”. Justice for the 13,000…

UPDATE: Ominous:

13,000 dead and somehow Burnham is portrayed as the victim. Pull the other one…

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Andy Burnham’s PPS Apologises for Cam NHS Genocide Smear

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Are Subsidising Andy Burnham’s Property Portfolio

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that Andy Burnham is a rent-swapper. They accuse him of letting out a London home while renting another property in the capital at the taxpayers’ expense. It’s a bit odd given that the Guido did some digging around Burnham this morning and found that he has been claiming thousands of pounds worth of mortgage interest for his home on expenses. Either way a member of the Shadow Cabinet is taking public money to subsidise living in his London flat while renting out another London property at the same time. The people of Leigh should remember that in 2015. Many, many more to come…

Friday, July 13, 2012

No Retraction From Burnham of NHS Twitter Smear

https://twitter.com/andyburnhammp/status/223685632659165184

Despite the New Statesman’s story about NHS privatisation turning out to be a steaming pile of wishful thinking, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham is continuing to peddle the smear.

Probably time to retract that one, eh Andy?

Thursday, February 16, 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.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Burnham Sponsoring Commons Pass for Health Lobbyist
Shadow Health Secretary “Owes” Lobbyist £20,000

Guido had to chuckle the other day when he saw Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham press releasing “our NHS is not for sale”. Not only did Burnham play a vital role in the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, but closer to home he’s not averse to taking a little private-sector cash. He has been up to his neck in putting amendments down to legislation on behalf of his donors and now this whole attack line is about to look even sillier…

Guido likes to keep an eye on the Register of Members’ Interests, in particular the interests of members’ staff and the passholders they sponsor. Burnham has given a pass to one Mr Kevin Lee, a former Labour Party staffer linked to the Shadow Health Secretary in the past. Lee was the pro-bono Campaign Director for Burnham’s abortive Labour leadership bid in 2010. Coincidentally Lee loaned the campaign £21,000 and spoke publicly on its behalf. They are close friends…

Kevin Lee is also the Managing Director of Lee Communications and Public Affairs Ltd – which he set up in August 2009 – just one month after Andy Burnham became Health Secretary. This is where it starts getting a little murky; Lee Communications have multiple NHS clients such as the Southwark, Trafford and North East Essex Primary Care Trusts as well as the East of England Strategic Health Authority for good measure. Lucky boy…

Rather foolishly Lee is all over the internet boasting about his connections to Burnham. Apparently he’s a master of “liais[ing] with senior politics at all levels of government… arrangement of client meetings with government Ministers”. Apparently he has “contacts” to help “engage politicians” and “influence key decision-makers”. And those contacts are in his pocket – Guido understands Burnham’s leadership loans have not yet been repaid. 

Firstly why has a lobbyist got a parliamentary pass, in direct conflict with rules? Why was it only given to him recently?

Secondly, what on earth is the Shadow Health Secretary doing giving a lobbyist, with health clients, unfettered access to the parliamentary estate?

Is he an adviser or aide, or is this just Burnham’s way of repaying the loans? Even if the money had been repaid, the pass is still a massive breach of protocol.

Dodgy credentials, a close relationship, along with the suspicious lobbying firm with a similar brief to the politician? It all smells a bit… Werritty.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ed Miliband and Tessa Jowell Invited Circle Into NHS

A co-conspirator forwarded this email sent to Massoud Fouladi, the Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of the Circle partnership which is taking over the running of a failing NHS hospital.

Labour leaning blogs and activists are up in arms about the invitation to the Circle Partnership to come in and run Hinchingbrooke Hospital. They seem to forget that it was Labour’s now Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham who started the Hinchingbrooke process. The decision to proceed with the franchise was one of his first acts as Health Secretary. Circle has already done some £110 million of NHS business under the last Labour Government. Labour’s Liz Kendall told the commons today: “Patients and the public will be deeply worried that this morning they have seen this Government’s true vision for the future of our NHS”. Ironically Andy Burnham, who started the whole process, was nowhere to be seen today,


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



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Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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