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Hackney journalist discovers 142 Lords who voted on Health and Social Care Act have links to private healthcare companies

PUBLISHED: 18:55 22 October 2012 | UPDATED: 19:02 22 October 2012

Investigative journalist Andrew Robertson

Investigative journalist Andrew Robertson

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Hackney investigative journalist Andrew Robertson has discovered 142 Lords have links with private healthcare companies - but were still allowed to vote in support of the Health and Social Care Act.

Mr Robertson believes this is a conflict of interest, and should have meant they were exempt from voting – in the same way councillors would be.

“In February when the House of Lords was debating the Bill I had a look at the register of interests to se what their connections are, they were chairs of companies that were interested in private health, they had shares in these companies,” Mr Robertson told a public meeting in Stoke Newington two weeks ago, organised to discuss the goverment’s NHS reform.

“So here is a Lord, he is the chairman of Aviva private health insurance company and he is allowed to vote on the Health and Social Care Bill which will weaken the public sector structure service and benefit Aviva.

“The point isn’t that they haven’t registered their interests, it’s that they have these interests and in addition to that they are able to vote,” he added.

“If they are to remain public servants rather than corporate servants the rules are not fit for purpose.”

The House of Lords debates legislation, and its 762 Lords have the power to amend or reject bills.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said all members had registered their interests as required.

For more information see www.socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk.

See The Gazette this Thursday for a double-page spread detailing the government’s NHS reform plans and how you can join the campaign organised by the Hackney Coalition to Save the NHS.

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