David Cameron’s most senior civil service aide, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, has told the PM to scrap the Health Bill. The revelation exposes the extent to which Cameron and Lansley are isolated — even amongst their inner circle of Whitehall advisers.
Sources to the Mirror’s James Lyons have revealed that Heywood has been arguing against Lansley’s bill on the basis that it threatens to send a wrecking ball through years of progress made in the NHS.
The 18-week waiting time and other targets developed by Heywood under New Labour were dumped by Lansley, who branded them “arbitrary”. Now he argues that the new top-down reorganisation will strip away Whitehall’s control of health services and endanger progress made since 1997.
Heywood, who is expected to expand his Whitehall empire with the departure of Steve Hilton, was Principal Private Secretary to Tony Blair before leaving for a four-year sabbatical at Morgan Stanley. In June 2011, Scrapbook generated headlines for exposing his role in the private equity deal which doomed care home group Southern Cross.
That’s one more signature to add to the 170,000 who oppose the Bill.