We asked John Penrose MP for a list of cabinet ministers who have a financial interest in health corporations. He answered that we should look for them ourselves, which is a bit disappointing.
Normally John is very helpful.
Maybe there is something to hide.
The nearest to a hit on the Register was Mark Simmonds, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who had been a strategic adviser to Circle Healthcare.
Then we hit paydirt on the excellent Social Investigations blog, which has:
Compilation of vested interests
Over 70 MPs connected to private healthcare companies
Member of NHS Future Forum colluded with lobby group over competition
We have lifted the records of MPs who are either in the Cabinet, or who have access to the Cabinet.
We found 10 people who have financial interests in health companies, including David Cameron and George Osborne, William Hague and seven others.
We will put relevant parts of this information before our MP. Our guess is that he will say that there is no evidence of wrongdoing here, and that all the connections are in the past. This is not good enough.
Reading the list, and realising that 200 Parliamentarians have financial interests in health corporations gives the ugly impression that a large number of MPs and Lords, mainly but not exclusively Conservatives, divide their time between their Parliamentary duties and various profitable directorships, while their financial investments, and those of their family, must powerfully influence their political decisions.
This is not good for democracy. MPs and members of the House of Lords should be working solely for the good of the nation and people of the United Kingdom. The vast number of directorships and financial interests they hold in profit making corporations is totally wrong.
In particular, the involvement of Cabinet members in Circle and Care UK, who are interested in the Weston franchise, casts doubt on the objectivity of the choice that will be made between private and NHS bidders.