Labour’s Shame: Senior Party Members Linked to Private Healthcare Interests
In a shocking revelation, the Every Doctor campaign group has unearthed a web of connections between Members of Parliament and the private healthcare sector.
The investigation focused on the 2022/3 register of interests of MPs at Westminster, mapping out those who receive financial contributions or benefits from entities associated with for-profit healthcare enterprises.
Much like ‘The Foodbank map’ or The ‘My Little Crony’ map that shows how large numbers of contracts have been handed out to Conservative Party political donors, family members and employers during the coronavirus pandemic the Privatisation Map does the same, linking privet health companies to MP donations.
The findings highlight a concerning trend that raises questions about the integrity and true agenda of our political representatives.
Private healthcare interests encompass far more than private hospitals and general practitioners. It extends to pharmaceutical companies, medical technology firms, medical staff recruitment agencies, private care home companies, and investment companies with substantial stakes in the profitability of private healthcare entities. Every type of company, with their respective donations, has now been meticulously pinned on the Privatisation Map—a captivating interactive Google mapper that associates each donor with the relevant MP.
All MPs are required to complete an entry in each year’s Register of Members’ Interests (the “Register”).
The purpose of the entry, according to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, is to: “…provide information about any financial interest which a Member has, or any benefit which he or she receives, which others might reasonably consider to influence his or her actions or words as a Member of Parliament.” [Emphasis added]
They must also update the Register if any changes occur. You can see copies of the Register here.
All of the information on this map comes directly from the Register.
Unsurprisingly, the “usual suspects” make an appearance, predominantly from the Conservative Party. Given the Tories’ long-standing ideological opposition to a publicly funded, not-for-profit healthcare system, this alignment comes as no surprise to informed UK voters.
However, the presence of a cohort of highly influential Labour Shadow Cabinet members is deeply disheartening.
Cash for Influence: Labour’s Top Figures Graced by Private Healthcare Donors
What is more surprising (some would argue more disappointing) is to see a cohort of extremely senior Labour Shadow Cabinet members represented. Four Labour frontbenchers reach the top 10 in the private healthcare entities and donations from those companies.
Sir Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition and a prospective Prime Minister, has found himself enriched by the tune of £157,500.00 from donors associated with the private healthcare sector. Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, boasts an even more substantial sum of £295,205.00. Meanwhile, Dan Jarvis, juggling his role as the Mayor of South Yorkshire, has managed to secure a handsome £137,500.00 in donations from the private health industry. As for the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, the individual who would be entrusted with overseeing the NHS under a Labour government, his pockets have been lined with an impressive £193,725.00 in contributions.
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and indeed, these sums of money are far from inconsequential. The private healthcare sector doesn’t shells out its riches for nothing.
Total all, on just the donations to the shadow Labour front bench, it’s a staggering £783.930. When you consider each pound contributed carries the expectation of influence and favours. You can only wonder what strings may be attached to such hefty donations.
You just have to ask the same questions you do when you see a Tory get a bung…What is expected in return? Surely, it is not a gesture of goodwill or a mere act of philanthropy.
No, it is a calculated investment, an attempt to exert influence, and perhaps even to shape policy decisions to benefit their wealthy benefactors.
The future of our National Health Service hangs in the balance, and it is disheartening to witness potential leaders of our country succumbing to the allure of private healthcare donations.
Not only is it disconcerting to witness Labour’s leading figures willingly accepting substantial sums from private healthcare interests. These are individuals who should be safeguarding the principles and values of the Labour Party, defending a publicly funded, publicly provided, not-for-profit healthcare system.
Hello 🤍— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) June 15, 2023
Yday I tweeted that Shadow Health Sec Wes Streeting had "received nearly £200,000 payments from private healthcare companies."
To be accurate, the £193,000 he HAS received was from people and companies with investments in, and strong links to, private healthcare…
Labour’s Ideological U-Turn
As the Conservative Party finds itself mired in internal turmoil and its popularity on the decline, Keir Starmer seems to have fallen victim to the illusion that the age-old adage: “There Is No Alternative” (TINA) will magically propel him into office. This misguided belief has emboldened Starmer and his right-wing agenda to the point where he no longer seems to care about the opinions of the Labour Party membership. Dissenters are swiftly removed from the equation as if they were mere inconveniences to be discarded.
When running for the leadership of the Labour Party Keir Starmer said this:
“Public Services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing out NHS, local government and justice system.”
Since assuming the leadership of the Labour Party, Starmer has taken a conspicuous rightward turn, steering the party that was once firmly rooted in left-wing economic and ideological principles across the meridian line into the realm of right-wing politics. Citing the war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, and the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic, along with any and every other excuse. Starmer has dramatically shifted his own position, broken all his own pledges and promises, and scrapped the manifesto he was elected on in its entirety.
Regarding the utilisation of private healthcare providers. With baseless confidence, he contends that “outsourcing” the provision of NHS care to for-profit private healthcare companies is distinct from outright privatisation—an assertion that lacks evidence and foundation.
It becomes increasingly difficult to separate the significant donations made to Labour politicians by individuals with vested interests in private healthcare from the party’s altered policy trajectory. After all, a staggering 84% of the British public opposes the privatisation of the NHS, and regardless of Sir Keir’s claims, once the private healthcare genie is unleashed, it is nigh impossible to confine it back within its bottle.
The undeniable influence of these substantial donations on Labour’s policy shift cannot be ignored.
The EveryDoctor website states: “We will oppose any politician, whatever their political allegiance, if they do not support our vision of, and for, the NHS.”
Doctors working in and committed to the NHS know that the private healthcare genie will deliver a poor (often unsafe) service, will disappear when things go wrong (or when there is simply no profit to be made – because that is the DNA of these corporations) and be found counting your taxpayer pounds in a tax haven when the NHS is picking up the pieces of the disaster that it has left behind (as happens more often than you can possibly imagine).
We cannot agree more…Paul knaggs…Labour Heartlands