Following the disastrous roll out of Theresa May’s Brexit proposals, the Prime Minister was faced with a raft of senior Cabinet resignations. So, Theresa May has now been forced in appointing a new Cabinet, yet this one appears to be even more extreme than the old one – especially when it comes our NHS.
We now have a new Brexit Secretary who doesn’t believe in economic or social rights and a new UK Health Secretary who has received money from the chair of a think-tank that wants to abolish the NHS. They alone put our NHS at risk, nevermind those Tories who dream of privatisation that were already in Cabinet.
And to top it off, we also have an embattled Theresa May desperately chasing a US trade deal at any cost. There is now a very real danger is that our precious NHS could be opened up to Donald Trump and American private healthcare firms, as the sweetener to secure the Tories ‘America First’ trade deal.
Here’s where just five members of the UK Cabinet stand on NHS privatisation.
The Chair of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank, which has called for the NHS to be abolished and is now under investigation by the Charity Commission, has donated £32,000 to Matt Hancock since the election. The IEA recently during the NHS’s 70th Anniversary called on the UK government to consider ditching our NHS in favour of a “health insurance system”.
While Dominic Rabb was Housing Minister, it was revealed he was part of a Facebook group calling for the return of workhouses for those in poverty and debt, and advocating the privatisation of the NHS. The idea of privatisation in the NHS isn’t new to Raab, having championed David Cameron’s top-down restructuring of the NHS as an MP to calling for massive regulation reform during the junior doctor’s strike – saying doctors were “holding the NHS to ransom”.
He has even expressed support for Donald Trump’s trade actions, actions that could see our NHS opened up to American private companies.
As Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt oversaw a massive expansion of private sector involvement in the NHS in England. Under the Tories the purchase of private sector services by the NHS in England has almost doubled – rising to £9 billion in 2016-17.
Jeremy Hunt also co-authored a book with his cabinet colleague Michael Gove and one-time UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, that called for the NHS to be replaced with a health insurance market involving the private sector. An option for privatisation than is often promoted by Nigel Farage.
Despite being a leading Brexiteer and pledging to spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS, since the referendum Liam Fox as gone cold on the idea of investing in the health service, saying the government couldn’t make any post-Brexit promises.
Liam Fox has, in the past, also called for the protected funding for the NHS to be scrapped and as International Trade Secretary has ensure that future US trade negotiations will be kept secret from the public.
Michael Gove was the key architect of the Vote Leave campaign’s ‘£350 million extra a week for the NHS’ pledge, a pledge that has now been disproven and rejected by the UK government that he serves in. Despite that Michael Gove has still tried to spin his Brexit pledge, even when his own Chancellor says he is lying about more money for the NHS.
Michael Gove also has a history of implementing ideologically motivated privatisation. As Education Secretary, under David Cameron, Michael Gove was the leading Tory privatiser, undertaking a massive privatisation project on England’s schools system.