Socialist Worker

Ministers and Civil servants on the PFI gravy train

Issue No. 2120

Alan Milburn, Health Secretary from 1998 to 2003

Alan Milburn is listed in his declaration of members’ interests at the House of Commons as a director of Covidien, which describes itself as “a $10bn global healthcare products leader”. He is also a member of Lloydspharmacy’s Healthcare Advisory Panel. Milburn is an advisor to the European advisory panel of leading private equity firm Bridgepoint, which specialises in healthcare investments. Milburn declares his income from these senior appointments as over £30,000 a year from Bridgepoint; over £25,000 from Lloydspharmacy; nothing listed for Covidien; and a further over £20,000 as an advisor to Pepsico.

Charles Clarke Education Secretary from 2002 to 2004 Home Secretary from 2004 to 2006

Charles Clarke a non-executive director of the LJ Group, which supplies teaching materials and equipment to schools and training services, including through the Government Building Schools for the Future programme, which Clarke initiated as education and skills secretary in February 2004. Clarke is a consultant to KPMG on public sector reform, for whom he wrote a booklet promoting the use of co-payments – service user contributions – to the NHS and other public services.

He also advises Charles Street Securities investment bankers/private equity fund managers. In addition, Clarke is a consultant to Beachcroft LLP, a legal firm that specialises in advising PFI/PPP deals.

Patricia Hewitt Health Secretary from 2005 to 2007

Patricia Hewitt is now senior adviser to Cinven, a private equity-backed private hospitals and healthcare group (payment, over £55,000 pa). She is also special consultant (payment over £45,000 pa) to AllianceBoots, which is owned by private equity firm KKR. In addition, Hewitt is a director of BT Group, which is providingbusiness outsourcing, IT and telecoms services to a range of public bodies. Hewitt established the telecoms and media regulator Ofcom in an earlier job as secretary of state for trade and industry and was in charge of the National Programme for IT – in which BT won one of the largest contracts – while secretary of state for health. According to BT’s submission of details to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Hewitt will be paid an initial £60,000, but with an expected increase as she takes on more responsibilities, in return for working at least 22 days a year.

David Blunkett Home Secretary from 2001 to 2004 Education Secretary from 1997 to 2001 and Work and Pensions secretary in 2005

David Blunkett is now an advisor on business development to A4e Ltd, for which he is entitled to be paid at least £25,000 a year, but which (according tohis Parliamentary declaration of interests) he has not yet been paid. A4e describes itself as a “market leader in global public service reform”.

Lord Warner Health Minister from 2003 to 2007

Lord Warner had specific responsibility for reform of the NHS – overseeing the introduction of more private sector involvement. Since he stepped down from that role he has taken on a directorship with UK HealthGateway and is chairman of the Government Sector Advisory Panel for Xansa plc – a leading provider of business outsource services to public bodies and holder of the £1bn NHS’s shared business service centre contract, providing accounting and finance services to the NHS. Lord Warner is also an advisor to Byotrol (a provider of micro biological health treatments), Apax Partners Worldwide (a private equity firm, with strong connections to the Government and which has invested heavily in health providers seeking contracts with the NHS), Deloitte (an accountancy and consultancy firm, with large incomes from government agencies) and DLA Piper (a legal firm, which, like Deloitte, specialises in advising on private contracting to the public sector). Lord Warner remains influential within the NHS as chair of the NHS London Provider Agency.

Hilary Armstrong secretary of state for local government from 1997 to 2001 for the Cabinet Office from 2006 to 2007

Hilary Armstrong has recently taken a position as chair of wastecompany SITA’s advisory committee.

Nick Raynsford a Local Government and Housing minister from 1997 to 2005

Nick Raynsford is now non-executive chairman of local authority recruitment agency Rockpools PLC and of Hometrack, a lettings service.

Ian McCartney Trade Minister from 1997 to 1999 and again from 2006 to 2007

Ian McCartney is a senior adviser to the US Fluor Corporation, an energy contractor that is believed to have ambitions to win nuclear clean-up contracts in the UK. McCartney is paid at least £110,000 a year for his advice. The former Department of Trade and Industry had responsibility for energy policy.

Stephen Byers Trade and industry secretary from 1998 to 2001

Stephen Byers is now non-executive chairman of water treatment company ACWA and Ritz Climate Offset Company.

Richard Caborn Trade minister from 1999 to 2001

Richard Caborn is now a consultant to AMEC assisting them with their work in the nuclear industry. His payment for this is at least £70,000 a year. He is also a former sports minister and now a consultant to the Fitness Industry Association, for which he is paid at least £10,000 a year.

Brian Wilson Energy minister from 2001 to 2003

Brian Wilson is now a non-executive director of AMEC Nuclear and is UK chairman of the renewables company, Airtricity.

Stephen Ladyman transport minister from 2005 to 2007

Stephen Ladyman is now an adviser to It is Holdings, a company selling traffic information, for which he is paid at least £10,000 a year.

Frank Field welfare reform minister from 1997 to 1998

Frank Field is now a director of Medicash, which operates a healthcare cash plan.

Sir Michael Barber former head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit

Michael Barber oversaw publicsector reforms in health, education, transport, policing, the criminal justice system and asylum/immigration. He is now the expert partner in consulting firm McKinsey’s Global Public Sector Practice.

Baroness Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan was a close aide to Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister and she was director of government relations in Downing Street and subsequently was made a minister and a member of the House of Lords. She is now a director of the largest care home operator in the UK, Southern Cross, which has expanded substantially as a result of government reforms to the structure and funding of social care. She is a member of the advisory panel of Lloyds Pharmacy, which is expected to bid for contracts under the Department of Health's £1.25bn

Alternative Provider Medical Services programme. Morgan is also a director of Carphone Warehouse.

Sir Gerry Loughran

Sir Gerry Loughran was head of the Northern Ireland civil service from 2000 to 2002. After retiring he took on a number of private sector directorships. These included Phoenix Natural Gas, which is owned by the Terra Firma private equity firm, and he soon became

chairman upon joining the board. While a senior civil servant, Loughran chaired the Strategy 2010 project,57 to sell and leaseback the civil service property portfolio. After leaving the civil service, Loughran became a director and chairman of Partenaire, where he led the company’s (unsuccessful) bid to win the £2bn Workplace 2010 contract that resulted from Strategy 2010.

Lord Wilson of Dinton

Lord Wilson of Dinton was, as Sir Richard Wilson, head of the Home Civil Service and secretary to the Cabinet – as such he had the overall responsibility for seeing that the Prime Minister’s policies on public sector reform were carried out. He was afterwards appointed a director of Xansa (now part of the Steria group), one of the main providers of business process outsourcing services to the public sector.

Lord Turnbull

Lord Wilson’s successor as head of the Home Civil Service was Sir Andrew Turnbull, now Lord Turnbull. Lord Turnbull’s current directorships include British Land (active in the PFI/PPP market), Prudential (also active in the market) and Frontier Economics (which advises private sector clients on public sector reform). Turnbull is also chairman of Brevan Howard Global, an investment management company.

Sir Peter Gershon

Sir Peter Gershon was brought in by The Treasury in 1998 to reduce government expenditure and improve efficiency – he conducted a series of reviews in the period to 2004. He became a civil servant in 2000 as founding chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce. Sir Peter is now executive chairman of Vertex, one of the largest suppliers of business outsourcing services to the UK public sector. He is also non-executive chairman of the General Healthcare Group, the largest private healthcare group in the UK – owned by the private equity group Apax Partners and the South African healthcare company Netcare, which has ISTC and other supply contracts with the NHS. In August 2008 Sir Peter completed a review of ICT procurement policy for the Australian government.58

Chris Woodhead

Following his period as chief inspector of schools, Chris Woodhead set-up the Cognita group of independent schools, using funds supplied by a private equity firm, Englefield Capital.

Sir Steve Robson

Sir Steve Robson was one of the most controversial senior civil servants of recent years, who oversaw the privatisation of British Rail on behalf of Sir John Major. Robson went on to become second permanent secretary at HM Treasury until he retired in 2001. During his earlier career, he was seconded to 3i while remaining a civil servant. He oversaw the Government’s policy on PPPs while serving the current Government at the Treasury. Since retiring, Sir Steve has been a director at Partnerships UK, JP Morgan Cazenove (a global

bank), Xstrata (a mining group) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (one of the leading investors in PPPs) and is a member of the Chairman’s Advisory Committee at the accountancy and consultancy firm KPMG (a leading adviser to PPP and PFI schemes).

Simon Stevens

Simon Stevens was Tony Blair’s health advisor within 10 Downing Street and, with Alan Milburn, was the key architect of the NHS reform programme. He is now chairman of UnitedHealth UK, which has won contracts with the NHS to manage and advise primary

care trusts. The company’s executive director, previously chief executive, was, until late 2007, Dr Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal. He is now working for UnitedHealth in the US.

Tom Granatir

Another US-based healthcare group with serious aspirations in the UK is Humana Europe. Its director of policy and research in the UK is Tom Granatir, who was seconded for six months to the NHS in its Health Inequalities Unit and was then seconded on a separate assignment with the influential health think-tank, the King’s Fund.

Darren Murphy

Darren Murphy was a special advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair from May 1997 to September 2005. After a period as head of government relations and external affairs for AstraZeneca UK Murphy became managing director at the London office of lobbying firm APCO whose clients include most of the private healthcare firms bidding to run Independent Sector Treatment Centres.

The rise of the “public services industry”, a report for Unison by Paul Gosling, is available at »

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Article information

Tue 23 Sep 2008, 18:04 BST
Issue No. 2120
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