Image: from an IEA leaflet calling for the NHS to be replaced by a privatised, insurance-based system.
As you may be aware, the new Health Secretary Matt Hancock has received donations from one Neil Record, understood by the NHA to be the Neil Record who chairs right-wing pressure group Institute for Economic Affairs. These are listed on the House of Commons website, including:
- 15 Nov 2017 - £4,000 from Neil Record
- 15 May 2017 - £2,000 from Neil Record
- 16 Nov 2016 - £4,000 from Neil Record
- 16 Nov 2015 - £4,000 from Neil Record
- 18 Nov 2014 - £4,000 from Neil Record
- 29 Nov 2013 - £4,000 from Neil Record
- 28 Nov 2012 - £4,000 from Neil Record
- 15 Nov 2011 - £4,000 from Neil Record
These donations are from a private individual who just so happens to be chair of the IEA. But this still begs the question - who is funding the IEA? Who is Record's paymaster?
As mentioned previously, the IEA are notorious for being one of the least transparent think tanks in the EU when it comes to funding. Taking a break from making comments such as 'all doctors are communists', the IEA's Head of Health and Welfare has made it very clear on Twitter that he won't be disclosing who funds them (though it's possible he doesn't know where the millions are coming from).
Perhaps there is a way to find out. NHA founder and former leader Dr Clive Peedell has called for the BBC to require 'think tanks' to fully disclose funding if they are to appear on BBC panels and debates.
The NHA Party reiterates this call for transparency, citing the need for full disclosure of funding sources in order to support a genuine democracy.
NHA leader Dr Alex Ashman said, "The Institute for Economic Affairs has stated a strong wish to privatise the NHS and dismantle the state apparatus that guarantees us free healthcare at point of need. Yet when they appear on national television little mention is made of who funds the organisation, which through its chairman has donated at least £30,000 to the current Health Secretary. We call on the BBC and the wider press to report the matter to the public, so that they are aware that the 'expert view' provided by the IEA is funded by dark money from those with a vested interest in NHS privatisation."
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Further reading: Dark money lurks at the heart of our political crisis - George Monbiot
The National Health Action (NHA) Party was founded in 2012 to oppose the growing marketisation of the NHS.
Dr Ashman is a surgical registrar who joined the NHA in 2012 having seen first hand the effects of marketisation and privatisation on the NHS.