Yesterday, Labour’s claims about government health advisors came unstuck at PMQs, but that’s not the only stunt they have pulled this week to backfire. Guido thought he recognised a familiar face the other day when Ed Miliband visited the Brocklebank Health Centre in Wandsworth on Monday:
Dr Tom Coffey is the head GP there and he hosted Ed Miliband for a chat about how bad and evil the NHS reforms are:
Miliband got some good footage out of the event, suggesting that he had been talking with concerned staff etcetera, and Labour’s bashing of the plans continued. But should he have declared an interest here?
Another staffer at the clinic refused to meet with Ed on the visit and tells Guido he wasn’t alone. In fact he’s become a bit sick of Tom Coffey and his visitors, because this was no ordinary PR stunt where the politician finds a concerned individual to champion. It all seems rather familiar, and that’s not surprising when you look who visited in 2009:
Look how Coffey appeared in Labour Party election literature:
He even shared a platform with Blair and Brendan Barber:
You could say he was one of Labour’s own.
Guido understands that there isn’t much love for Coffey amongst other local GPs, who are envious of the huge sums he is making. A council question went in a couple of months ago asking how many GPs in Wandsworth made more that £100,000 and how many made more than £200,000. Only one made more than £200,000 – and Guido’s source confirms it is our boy.
Funnily enough Dr Coffey has popped up supporting health reforms in the past, yet as soon as the government changed he started slamming them. Guido’s sources tell him that Coffey is always willing to open his doors to allow the Labour Party to campaign on taxpayer funded time and property. And what has his reward been?
He had dinner with Blair at Downing Street in November 2004, which must have been nice. But even more was to be bestowed upon this loyal apparatchik. Coffey received an OBE just two months before the end of the last government.
So here we have a doctor with his mouth stuffed full of taxpayers’ gold, doing his utmost to campaign for the Labour Party, on taxpayer funded property and time. He’s then gonged up and wined and dined for his services. In shock news, he doesn’t like Tories. It makes Miliband’s pained expression look a little fake…