Current Conservative Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has been accused of cronyism in the past. Being linked to PPE companies and such like, making money or having shares in companies, working in the NHS, etc, combatting COVID.
Now it has become known, from the lips of the Health Secretary, himself, another revelation of cronyism. Mr Hancock has 15% shares in his sister's waste disposal company, Topwood Ltd. Labour Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathon Ashworth declared, "Shocking, but sadly, I suspect no one is surprised any more". During this weeks PMQs, Sir Keir accused Boris of more Tory sleaze. Not over Hancock's shares in Topwood, but David Cameron calling Rishi Sunak, to lobby for a company called 'Greensill'. Mr Cameron, a board member of the company, stood to gain thousands. Boris has launched an internal inquiry about this, but can this truly be an independent inquiry? So the allegation of 'Tory sleaze' made by Sir Keir, could be made about Hancock's 15% shares in Topwood.
Mr Hancock finally declared, he has shares in the Commons Register of MPs' interests. Topwood has been given contracts by the NHS Wales worth, £300,000. Of course, Mr Hancock has no control over what happens in NHS matters in Wales, they have been devolved.
The Health Service Journal has alleged also, that Topwood, was awarded lucrative contracts for NHS England, in 2019. The Health Service Journal, (HSJ), has also alleged that Mr Hancock omitted to declare his financial connections to the company. Of course, as you would expect, Hancock's Department for Health and Social Care has contradicted, the HSJ article. Denying the allegations made against Mr Hancock, in the article.
It is easy to accuse Mr Hancock of deliberately, withholding, knowledge of his shares in Topwood. I am sure at some point, we have all done things where we thought we could get away with things and then, call it 'karma', the truth has found us out and we, have had to come clean.
However, when you are an MP, a supposed servant of the people, you would and should, expect better. It is not the first time that MPs have been found wanting, in not declaring shares or earning incomes, (other than being an MP). One remembers the duck house fiasco of the 90s, when MPs of all hues, were found to be guilty of not declaring financial gains.
History is full of corruption from people in power. From the Romans up until today, you have to be very strong, not to get corrupted by perks, bribes, lobbying, non-declaration of financial gains, etc.
Sleaze, though, always seems to fly to Conservative administrations, like metal to a magnet. I'm old enough, to remember the Thatcher government and there were, back then, countless allegations of sleaze of one type, or another. Labour and other parties too have had their fair share of corruption, but how it compares to the Tories, is another thing.
In as much I congratulate this government in rolling out the vaccine with a record number of inoculations, there remains, something rotten at the heart of Boris' administration. Boris, himself, has been accused of being a liar and a fantasist. So is it surprising, that he would surround himself with like-minded cabinet ministers?
The next month will give people a chance, to deliver, a verdict on this government's performance. Factor in the roll-out of the vaccine and it would not be surprising if the Boris bounce in the polls, will translate into Tory victories.
However, with Tory sleaze once more raising its ugly head, the return to harsh Universal Credit sanctions, the NHS only being given 1% pay rise (while Boris has his White House like, press room), etc, the real Tories are again emerging. Emerging from behind the fog of the vaccine success is the same, unfeeling, cold, self-fish Tory party of old.
Let us hope people will realise this not only in the May elections but in all other elections to come and indeed, ultimately, in the general election in 2024.