An email from Simon Hughes is hilarious in its blatant hypocrisy, with the London MP attempting to paint himself as principled opponent of aspects of the Health Bill – despite his steadfast support for it throughout its passage through parliament.
Challenged by the leader of Southwark Council to explain his position on Andrew Lansley’s reforms, Hughes took a month to respond, finally sending a confused reply six days after the legislation had received royal assent:
- HYPOCRISY 1: Hughes writes that “When introduced [the Bill] there was an unacceptable emphasis given to the role of the private sector” — so why did he vote for it at every stage?
- HYPOCRISY 2: In March, Hughes called for the Bill’s risk register to be published, saying that the Liberal Democrats’ reputation as supporters of freedom of information was at risk. But in the email seen by Scrapbook, he says “governments are entitled to resist requests for information provided they follow the law”.
- HYPOCRISY 3: Hughes writes: “It is the results that count, not the noise or visibility of the process by which you achieve the result.” This is coming from the man who said Lansley should resign just to deflect attention away from his own support for the Bill.
And he has repeatedly tried to justify his support for the Bill by saying the NHS was a Liberal idea in the first place, writing that he is a “a political son of William Beveridge”.
Beveridge would be rolling in his grave if he knew Hughes was calling him Dad.