Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker - Hunt was so busy cutting he forgot how many flats he had

Issue No. 2600

Jeremy Hunt - apparantly still health secretary while doing property deals

Jeremy Hunt - apparantly still health secretary while doing property deals (Pic: Ted Eytan/Flickr)

Jeremy Hunt, who is apparently still the health secretary, failed to declare his involvement in a scheme involving seven flats in Southampton.

He had broken anti-money laundering legislation. The legislation is so lax as it was brought in by the Tories, but Hunt still managed to break it.

Happily this did not breach the Ministerial Code.

Hunt, said to be worth £14 million, jointly set up Mare Pond Properties with wife Lucia Guo on 19 September last year to run seven flats in the city’s Ocean Village.

But he failed to declare he was a “person with significant control”—having more than 25 percent shares or voting rights—to Companies House until 29 March.

Since 2016, failing to do this within14 days can lead to a fine or two years’ jail. Hunt also did not declare his stake to parliament until 7 March, breaching a 28-day limit in the MPs’ code of conduct.

He has, we are glad to hear, now corrected the errors.

A spokeswoman for Hunt said, “These were honest administrative mistakes which have been rectified.

“Jeremy accepts these mistakes are his responsibility and has apologised to the parliamentary authorities.” Hunt wasn’t forgetful when he remembered to claim 27p in expenses for fuel on one occasion.

  • Jeremy Hunt has enabled the “back door privatisation” of the NHS. The NHS is spending millions ­outsourcing workers to new arms-length private companies.

Freedom of Information requests by the Unison union show consultants are advising trusts on the setting up of wholly-owned subsidiaries, to which staff are then outsourced.

Unison said the companies appeal to NHS trusts because they can reduce their VAT, and cut the pay and pensions for any new staff.

Health workers being transferred tend to be the lowest paid, such as porters and cleaners, it added.

In 15 NHS trusts the amount spent is more than £3.2 million. Topping the list is Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Birkenhead, which spent more than £661,000 establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary.

  • The boss of a defunct universities’ regulator was paid £178,000 after it closed. Madeleine Atkins was chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which has been replaced by the Office for Students. It ceased to function on March 31, but she was awarded the salary in full even though there is no work to do. She did turn down a £67,000 redundancy payment.

  • The Conservative Party has apologised for sending a campaign letter to an elderly couple from Theresa May, addressed to “MrYoumustbe Fuckingjoking”. Thus far Tory Central Office has offered no explanation. We should make “Youmustbe Fuckingjoking” the slogan of the next general election.

Sir Sorrell’s out of a job but in the money

Troublemaker regular Martin Sorrell is out of work. The world’s largest advertising agency WPP is refusing to publish the findings of an investigation into the conduct of Sorrell after he abruptly ended a 33-year career at the company.

He is in line for a £19 million payout having concluded that it was “in the best interests of the business” for him to resign.

WPP said yesterday it did not intend to disclose the findings of an inquiry against him into allegations of personal misconduct and misuse of company funds.

WPP said he would “be treated as having retired”, enabling him to receive up to 1.6 million in shares over the next five years.

He once pledged to “carry on until they carry me out of the glue factory”. A proposal he has unfortunately not followed through on.

In 2016 his take home pay was £48 million. So we reckon he won’t be needing a food bank any time soon.

Shock strip threat from Philip Green

Sir Philip Green described himself as a “gentleman” with “zero” responsibility for the collapse of BHS in a tirade in which he called MPs a “bunch of wankers”.

In his first interview since the retailer went bust, he said his family had “behaved properly”.

He sold the chain to Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt with no retail experience, for £1 in 2015. BHS crashed 13 months later with the loss of 11,000 jobs.

The Pensions Regulator found Sir Philip liable for support to the pension scheme. He said, “I wrote a cheque for £363 million. But nobody has ever said, ‘this man behaved like a gentleman’.

“I don’t think it’s grand living.

“You’re saying I have been successful and I should have to apologise for that? I’ve paid, what am I supposed to do? Take all my clothes off and say, I’m skint?”

Essex soldier is Tony Blair

Tony Blair is everywhere. When he isn’t waving the hand of history or calling for a new EU referendum, he can be found in Chelmsford wearing 1950s army fatigues. It’s true. The Essex Regiment Museum acquired surplus models from Madame Tussaud’s and an early Blair, above, was among the “redundant heads”.

“We’ve also got Jeremy Thorpe dressed as a Crimean War soldier by the front door,” the museum says.

Proof that while most political reputations wane, some wax.

Prince Philip appears in armour at Manorbier Castle in west Wales. In fact, he is there twice—his wax head is also leaning over a spinning wheel atop a mannequin labelled “a Welsh lady”.

Crunchy Tory policies?

Tories Michael Gove and Ruth Davidson have joined forces to help draw up policy for the next general election.

They are the front for a think tank called Onward.

Invitations to the launch, which feature speeches by Davidson and Gove, are apparently in the post.

Will Tanner is a former aide to Theresa May. He said, “We hope to be an ideas factory for the centre right and reach out to new groups that in the present climate the Conservative party isn’t very good at talking to.

“We want to come up with crunchy retail politics that appeal to the young.”

The Things They Say 

‘The occasional massacre was carried out’

Daily Mail journalist Guy Adams minimising Britain’s history of colonialism

‘The intention is to grow more of our own nurses’

Tory health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy explains his cunning plan for garden centres to solve the NHS crisis

‘He said, you better make fucking sure I don’t get elected’

Jon Lansman of Momentum on what Jeremy Corbyn told him in 2015

‘Allow your home to fill with the beautiful fragrance of Wedding Bouquet’

Royal Collection Shop flogging the official candle for the royal wedding for £35

‘Decorative borders are inspired by the mid-thirteenth century Gilebertus doors at St George’s Chapel’

The decorative borders are on the royal wedding tea towel £9.95 “approved by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle”

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