NEW Health Secretary Matt Hancock accepted £32,000 from anti-NHS think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) since 2010, with the most recent “donation” of £4,000 in November, official records revealed today.
Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Mr Hancock on Monday to replace Jeremy Hunt.
Last week, the IEA called for the NHS to be replaced with a “European style” private insurance system.
Mr Hunt replaced Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary earlier this week after the latter resigned over the government’s Brexit proposals.
Labour’s shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “The NHS is our national treasure so it’s a disgrace that Theresa May has appointed a Health Secretary with links to organisations that want to break it up and sell it off.
“The new Health Secretary must urgently explain whether he still has links with private healthcare firms.”
Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman Tony O’Sullivan told the Star that the government’s agenda was “to defund and ultimately privatise” the service, which would lead to “social inequality and a two-tier system.”
He added: “The fact that our new health minister is clearly so friendly with a powerful lobbyist for privatisation, and that there is a clear conflict of interest in what his role should be in advocating for a public system, does not bode well.
“Many have celebrated the exit of Hunt. However now is not the time for any campaigner to rest on their laurels.
“We are still governed by a party whose primary agenda is to unpick and undermine a publicly owned and publicly provided service.”
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