British Virgin Islands

Saturday, May 08, 2021

UK Gov't 'infected with widespread cronyism'- UK MP

UK Gov't 'infected with widespread cronyism'- UK MP

A company share owned by United Kingdom (UK) Health Secretary Matt J. Hancock, has been approved as a potential supplier for NHS trusts in England, sparking cries of cronyism by the UK Labour Party.

Hancock, who owns shares in a company, declared that he had acquired more than 15% of Topwood Ltd, which was granted the approved status in 2019.

Cronyism is Johnson Gov't - UK Labour Party


According to the BBC, the firm which specialises in the secure storage, shredding and scanning of documents, also won £300,000 of business from NHS Wales this year.

However, even though the company is owned by a public official in high authority, a government spokesman said there had been no conflict of interest. He also said the health secretary had acted "entirely properly" the BBC reported.

“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,” said the shadow Health Minister Justin P. Madders.

The Labour party said there was "cronyism at the heart of this government" and the party's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has asked the head of the civil service to investigate whether Mr Hancock breached the ministerial code.

'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,' said the shadow Health Minister Justin P. Madders.


Hancock declared interest of 15% ownership


In March 2021, this year, Mr Hancock declared in the MPs' register of interests that he had acquired more than 15% of the shares in Topwood, under a "delegated management arrangement".

Even as the Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson Government has denied what many have called blatant cronyism, his Government has refused a Commission of Inquiry into allegations of corruption and cronyism over COVID spending.

Mr Johnson said having a CoI during the pandemic will be poor timing and could cause resources to be diverted from critical COVID-19 spending but ironically has backed a controversial CoI into governance in the Virgin Islands in the height of the pandemic.

The CoI was called by former governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, who was said to be antagonistic against the incumbent Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government.

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