Hancock accused of ‘cronyism’ over shares in family firm which has NHS contracts


Labour has said there are “serious questions to answer” after it was revealed that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has shares in a family company that has contracts with the NHS.

Mr Hancock declared in the MPs’ register of interests in March of this year that he now owns over 15% of shares in company Topwood Limited, which specialises in secure storage, shredding and scanning of documents.

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that the firm, which is owned and run by his sister, won a place on a framework to provide services to the English NHS in 2019, as well as contracts with the NHS in Wales.

NHS Wales reportedly awarded the firm £300,000 worth of contracts.

It also reported that the Health Secretary did not declare his connection to the company in the relevant register of interests, a claim which has been rejected by the Government.

It follows accusations of “cronyism” within Government by Labour, which is calling for a full inquiry into the Greensill Capital lobbying controversy.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “It is now clear this Conservative Government has been infected with widespread cronyism and is unable to identify where the line is drawn between personal and departmental interests.

“It’s one rule for them, another for everybody else.

“There are serious questions to answer from Matt Hancock and there needs to be a full inquiry and immediate publication of all documents relating to Topwood’s acceptance on to the framework contract in 2019.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “Mr Hancock has 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.”

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function{ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date;a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Emma Bowden, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '12fc204a-cee4-46c8-b6d3-dafa9d7297c9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'anonymizeIp', true); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hancock accused of u2018cronyismu2019 over shares in family firm which has NHS contracts'});

By The Canary

Bywire will email you from time to time with news digests, stories & opportunities to get involved. Privacy