Former health secretary Alan Milburn yesterday:
“You’ve got a pale imitation actually of the 1992 general election campaign. Maybe it will have the same outcome, I don’t know. But it would be a fatal mistake for Labour to go into this election looking as though it is the party that would better resource the NHS but not necessarily put its foot to the floor when it comes to reforming it.”
What kind of reform could Milburn possibly have in mind? In answering that question, perhaps we might find his current roles instructive:
- Chair of the European Advisory Board for Bridgepoint Capital, owners of Care UK
- Chair of PwC’s UK Health Industry Oversight Board
- Adviser and a Member of the Healthcare Advisory Panel at Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd
- Member of Strategic Advisory Board at WellDoc, Inc
- Chairman of iWantGreatCare
The proceeds from these sinecures are believed to be channelled through AM Strategy Ltd, a firm set up while he was still an MP and is co-owned with his partner, an NHS doctor. The firm was described on his final register of members’ interests entry as “established … to undertake media/consultancy work” and the last accounts show £1.76m in cash (up 35%) as part of total assets of £2.42m (up 50%).
So was his election intervention yeseterday as a former Labour MP and health secretary or on behalf of his current employers: vested interests in the health industry?