Pressure Builds Over Hancock’s Shares in NHS Contract Firm

Last night, the story Guido readers first learnt on Wednesday – that Matt Hancock has shares in his sister’s NHS contract-winning firm – became the Independent’s ‘front page’ (though only the BBC credits Guido for first revealing the shares). A government spokesperson maintains Hancock acted “entirely properly in these circumstances”

“All declarations of interest have been made in accordance with the ministerial code. Ministers have no involvement in the awarding of these contracts, and no conflict of interest arises.”

Too soon? The story gets worse for Matt…

Last night the Health Service Journal revealed not only did Hancock’s sister’s firm win two NHS Wales contracts, it won a place on a framework to provide services to the English NHS in 2019 – half a year after Hancock became Health Secretary. He failed to declare any conflicts of interest in his member’s register.

While many ministers do declare interests of parents and siblings – even when they aren’t directly relevant to their role – the Department for Health wouldn’t be drawn on whether Hancock discussed his family involvement in the firm with the permanent secretary or independent advisor.

Labour has now leapt on the story, saying “there needs to be a full inquiry and immediate publication of all documents relating to Topwood’s acceptance onto the framework contract in 2019.” They could have called for an inquiry a whole day sooner if they’d been reading Guido…

mdi-tag-outline Lobbying Snouts in the Trough
mdi-account-multiple-outline Matt Hancock
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