Thursday 4 October 2012

MPs and Lord's Financial Links to Free Market Think Tank

As part of a series of investigations looking into the free market think tank Reform, the financial links between our so-called public servants, corporations and Reform has brought into question whether Reform should be stripped of their ‘charity’ status.

Now Social Investigations has revealed the list of companies that give money to Reform in either donations or sponsorship who also are employing or have financial connections to our so-called public servants in key sectors of our society.

So far we have found out:

  • Reform’s involvement in promoting ‘competition’ in the Health and Social Care bill during the ‘listening exercise’
  • The use of Chatham House Rules to hold high-level meetings on matters of promoting public service reform without minutes or knowing who was in attendance

Now below we can see the list of companies and their connections to MPs and Lords who also pay money to Reform and the amounts they paid in 2011. The amounts, though small for a corporation their size, allows them additional access to MPs and Lords at events, seminars, policy lunches, fringe conference events and promotion of policies in articles often via the Daily Telegraph and other media outlets.

The time has surely come to end their charity status.

Corporations; Links to MPs/Lords and amounts paid to Reform in 2011.
Lloyds – Lord Blackwell (Con): Non Executive director of Lloyds Banking Group plc Henry Bellingham (Con) – MP for North West Norfolk, Jonathan Djanogly MP (Con) for Huntingdon, Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield (Con) – all former members of Lloyds. Lord Leitch (Lab): Deputy Chairman, Lloyds TSB bank plc; advisor of Lloyds Banking Group plc; Trustee, Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales. Baroness Scott of Needham Market (Lib Dem) Member, Lloyds Register Advisory Committee (unremunerated)
McKesson - Lord Carter: (Lab) The head of the increasingly influential Competition and Cooperation Panel, is also the Chair of McKesson Information Solutions Ltd, which delivers I.T to “virtually every NHS organisation”
SkyLord Wilson of Dinton (Crossbench; Con) – Non-Executive director of BSkyB) Mary MacLeod MP for Brentford and Isleworth (Con) received £7,000 sponsorship for Hounslow Volunteering Awards organized by the MP. Lord Howard of Rising (Con), Baroness Noakes Shares in BSkyB. Conservative party as a whole tried to get BSkyB bid passed.
DANONE – Lord Lucas (Con) - Member, Pre and Probiotics Information Panel, Danone UK
Aviva – Lord Sharman (Con) Is the chairman of Aviva, has directorship and Shareholdings in Aviva plc
General Health Group:
(GHG) were purchased by Apax Partners  in 2006. Labour Peer, Lord Warner (Lab), was a former advisor to Apax Partners in 2007 when Apax had taken over GHG. Lord Warner is also a member of the Advisory Council for think tank Reform. The think tank received money from GHG for sponsorship and whose health policy for 2011 was stated as looking at: ‘The implications of greater efficiency for healthcare infrastructure, in particular hospitals.’

Microsoft – Baroness Kingsmill (Lab) Member, Microsoft European Policy Council. Lord Watson of Richmond (Lib Dem) Non-executive Chairman, ICOMP and consultant to Microsoft.
Serco – Lord Filkin (Labour) Public Affairs Advisor
Prudential Lord Turnbull (Crossbench) Non-Executive director and shares
KPMG - Lord Harris of Haringey (Lab) is a Senior Adviser and Lord Hastings (Crossbench) is the Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity for Global Tax.
PA Consulting – George Freeman MP for Mid Norfolk (Con) Between November 2010 and November 2011 he provided strategic support to their Technological practice.
PWC – Lord Ribeiro (Con) Adviser on hospital reorganization to PwC
Telereal Trillium – Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach (Con) Category 2: Remunerated employment
Airwave – Lord Harris of Haringey (Lab) Chair of Toby Harris Associates, whose clients include: Airwave Solutions
G4S – Lord Condon (Crossbench) - Non-executive Deputy Chairman & Senior Independent Director. Lord Reid of Cardowan (Labour) Director Regional management.
BG Group – Baroness Hogg (Con) - Senior Independent Director and holds shares.
Cable & Wireless – Lord Robertson of Port Ellen (Lab) is a Senior International Adviser and has shares in the company
GlaxoSmithKline 19 Lords and MPs have shares in GlaxoSmithKline.
McKinsey – David Milliband MP for South Shields (Lab) received £10,000 from McKinsey and Co for a speech at a Global Business Leaders Summit in February last year. Also received a sum of £10,044 from the same company for travel expenses and accommodation in Singapore in March 2011. McKinsey & Co drew up loads of proposals that were accepted into the Health and Social Care bill. The consultancy giant also proposed the £20 billion cuts to the NHS accepted by the Coalition government. David Bennett the head of Monitor the new NHS regulator is a former employer.
BP – Lord Jones of Birmingham (Crossbench) – Advisor. Lord Patten of Barnes - Member, International Advisory Board. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen - Deputy Chairman of Board & Chairman of Audit Committee, TNK-BP (Moscow-based joint venture in oil/gas) and an Adviser, BP plc. The Member receives a limited amount of secretarial assistance from BP plc. Lord Watson of Richmond is a consultant for BP plc.
Circle – Mark Simmonds MP (Con) Special advisor. Baron Higgins of Worthing, a Conservative, holds in excess of £50,000 of shares in Lansdowne UK Equity Fund, backers of private hospital group Circle Holdings. Lord Watson is the Chairman of Havas Media UK, an integrated agency, 100% owned by Havas Media. In April 2011 - MPG Media Contacts won the integrated media planning and buying account for Circle Health. The account is worth just under £1m, according to MPG Media Contacts. Circle recruited Christina Lineen as head of communications following a two-year period as an advisor to Andrew Lansley. It is possible she is returning to government as an advisor to the new Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt. Christina Lineen replaced Nick Seddon who is now a deputy director of Reform who has been heavily promoting the outsourcing of hospitals largely through the Telegraph. As well as being a member of NHS Partners Network, Circle has given money to Reform via sponsorship.
Download the PDF here.

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