Revealed: A fifth of new Tory MPs have worked as lobbyists. New MPs include lobbyists for banks, private healthcare and arms manufacturers

Adam Ramsay, Caroline Molloy, Tamasin Cave
21 December 2019

One in five new Tory MPs have worked in lobbying or PR for corporate interests, new openDemocracy research reveals today. Opposition politicians have called our findings “deeply worrying”.

The new Tory cohort includes a former head of communications for a private healthcare company, a top lobbyist for British bankers, a former staffer at Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, and former employees of firms which have represented the arms industry and the governments of Qatar and Kazakhstan.

Four of Britain’s largest lobbying firms – Portland Communications, Grayling, Hanover Communications and Pagefield – now have at least one former employee in parliament.

Green MP Caroline Lucas described our findings as “deeply worrying”, adding “in recent years, we’ve seen the representatives of big business take over ever-more of our politics… they will be making decisions which will shape the future of our country through Brexit”.

Labour frontbencher John Trickett said: “For too long, too many MPs have come from markedly different backgrounds to most of the people they represent. This is one of the reasons why there is such a gulf between politics and the wider public.”

He added that the Conservatives are “deeply connected to privileged corporate interests”.

Private healthcare

The new MPs investigated by openDemocracy include at least five who have worked for firms which represent private healthcare companies. Rob Butler, the new MP for Aylesbury, has his own corporate communications firm which “provides a bespoke, intelligent and discreet service of communication counsel to corporations, NGOs, family offices and prominent individuals,” according to its website. His clients have included the private healthcare company BUPA. Mr Butler didn’t provide a comment for this story.

Paul Bristow, the new MP for Peterborough, has been the chairman of the trade group for lobbyists, the Association of Professional Political Consultants since June 2017 (recently renamed the Public Affairs Board). His own company PB Consulting has mainly healthcare and health technology related clients. In its most recent quarter, the lobbying register shows its clients include Cerner (a large US firm with growing UK healthcare interests), Medtronic (a large US health technology firm), as well as health tech trade bodies the Association of British Healthcare Industries, Medical Technology Group, and the US health tech trade body Advamed, as well as for pharmaceutical firms including Bayer, and Johnson & Johnson. From 2007-2010 Bristow was director of research and consulting at Biba Medical (which states on its website that its mission is to “connect the community of physicians and the medical device industry”).

Mr Bristow told openDemocracy “Legislators should not be lobbyists, something I have always been clear about”. He confirmed that he has now stepped down as chairman and “will have no future role within PB Consulting” and added “I am proud of what I achieved as a healthcare public affairs consultant and my work on awareness campaigns relating to sepsis and brain tumours.”

The Managing Director of PB Consulting, Dan Jones, told openDemocracy that Paul Bristow “no longer has a formal role”, and added in a statement that “Paul’s election requires the company to go through a short transition period, during which time we will suspend our membership of the PRCA. This is a temporary suspension, PB Consulting will return to the PRCA in the New Year. We remain committed to ensuring that we maintain the highest ethical standards in everything we do and will abide by the PRCA’s Code of Conduct during this temporary suspension.”

Mark Fletcher, who replaced Dennis Skinner as MP for Bolsover, was the head of communications for Synergix Health for seven months in 2018. Its biggest brand is ‘Doctor Care Anywhere’, a health tech ‘telemedicine’ service that provides private GP consultations via an ‘app’, for a subscription payment or one-off fee. Doctor Care Anywhere has also started to secure contracts to provide its services to NHS GP surgeries including 6 surgeries in Plymouth. Mr Fletcher did not respond to our request for comment.

Mark Logan, the new Conservative MP for Bolton North East, is the former head of global communications for the Chinese conglomerate Sanpower, Sanpower which owns multiple healthcare interests, including managing hospitals and ‘subscription health care’. The conglomerate includes ‘the largest telemedicine and home-based senior care company in Israel’. Speaking to openDemocracy, Mr Logan said: “I was with our Health Secretary earlier today and the message is resolutely clear: the NHS is not for sale. And we will now be commencing on the single biggest investment boost – £33.9bn.”

Banking, weapons and Cambridge Analytica

Anthony Browne, in South Cambridgeshire, was CEO of the British Bankers’ Association, the main lobby group for the banking industry, from 2012-2017.

Sevenoakes MP Laura Trott is a former communications adviser to David Cameron who co-wrote the party’s 2015 manifesto, and went on to be a partner at the lobbying firm Portland until her election. Portland represents the governments of Qatar and Kazakhstan, numerous pharmaceutical companies, and the arms company BAE Systems.

Fay Jones in Brecon and Radnorshire was the head of Wales for the global public relations and lobbying firm Grayling until her election this month. Grayling has numerous clients, including private healthcare companies, failed outsourcing giant Carillion, arms company Lockhead Martin and the National Casino Forum. Neither Trott nor Jones responded to our request for comment.

Alicia Kearns, the new MP for Rutland and Melton, worked as a communications staff member at the Foreign Office, leading the departments’ communications in Iraq and Syria, and led the Ministry of Defence communications in Scotland during the independence referendum. She then moved into the private sector, where she designed and directed “counter violent extremism, counter disinformation, hybrid warfare and behaviour change programmes for Governments, militaries, and NGOs to build stronger and safer communities.”

Imran Ahmed-Khan, the new Wakefield MP, worked for the military communications firm SCL from 2003-4, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica before working at the Syrian Media Centre, representing the Syrian government from 2004-5. He most recently worked at the advertising and PR firm M&C Saatchi.

Neither Alicia Kearns nor Ahmed-Khan responded to openDemocracy’s requests for comment.

‘Optum’ training for Integrated Care System for Coventry and Warwickshire

Private companies both run many NHSE services and consultancies are shaping NHSE re-organisation towards ICSs. Optum is UnitedHealth Group subsidiary & has been “sowing seeds” in the English NHS for a decade.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ournhs/the-president-the-us-private-health-giant-and-top-nhs-officials-special-relationships/

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ournhs/nhs-opening-us-business-reassurances-are-demonstrably-false/

‘Optum’ and PWC are training Coventry and Warwickshire CCGs to prepare for becoming an Integrated Care System. SWCCG Chief Officer’s Report to Governing Body May 23 2018 said: ‘In support of our work in establishing an Integrated Care System in Coventry & Warwickshire, NHSE has commissioned PWC and Optum to provide a structured support opportunity in the form of an ICS Development Programme (available to all West Midlands sustainability partnerships). The programme, incorporating all local NHS organisations and the two local authorities, commences locally in May and will be completed by July 2018’ (https://www.southwarwickshireccg.nhs.uk/mf.ashx?ID=9fdebfad-2d9f-453c-bb94-00cfd1ec9c43

If this is just about integrating NHS, Social Care provided by local authorities and Third Sector providers, why is a major, profitable American healthcare company being used to train and shape policy? The American health care market is about cutting costs, rationing care to a bare minimum, in order to boost profits. Whether privatisation of further services in the NHS is on the horizon or not, the use of these companies in shaping the ICS model is to produce a cheaper NHS, which cannot provide comprehensive, quality health care at the point of use, as was intended when it was set up in 1948.

The Conservatives’ NHS Lies

Tribune Magazine 26/11/2019

From nurses to hospitals to overall investment, every major health pledge the Tories have made in this election campaign can be shown to be a lie. They can’t be trusted with the NHS.

The limp and reactionary Conservative manifesto threatens the UK population with, at best, five years of post-Brexit stagnation and decline or, at worst, the disaster of a No-Deal exit by the end of 2020.

In a token effort to reach out to the millions of Tories who did not (or now no longer) support Brexit, Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings have thrown in what they hope will be a couple of catchy promises in relation to England’s NHS.

  • “6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals, such as physiotherapists and pharmacists”
  • “An end to unfair hospital car parking charges by making parking free for those in greatest need”
  • “50,000 more nurses, with students receiving a £5,000-£8,000 annual maintenance grant”

These promises, of course, follow on previous equally spurious ones – the £1.8 billion of “new money” for repairs, most of which wasn’t new; the “fake forty” promise of “new hospitals”, when the real figure is six, several of which are rebuilds, with decisions on the others not due until at least 2025; and claims to be spending “record amounts” and £33.9 billion extra by 2024, when the real terms increase is just £20.5 billion, after nine years of virtually frozen funding.

The promise of 6,000 extra doctors (with the related promise of 50 million more appointments each year) –  points to a long-standing failure of governments since 2015 to deliver on Jeremy Hunt’s infamous promise of an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020. In fact, GP numbers have fallen by 1,000 in the past five years, while waits have increased.

Earlier this year a BMA report showed that the number of patients waiting over two weeks for an appointment with their GP was up by 13% compared to the same months in 2018. Appointments with a wait of over 28 days were up 15% on the previous year.

The promise of 6,000 GPs had already been made by Matt Hancock – and exposed by Pulse magazine as another misleading claim, including 3,000 trainees in the total along with just 3,000 qualified GPs. Perhaps that’s why Johnson’s manifesto is careful only to promise “more doctors in general practice” rather than GPs.

There has been little focus on the linked promise of another 6,000 primary care professionals: there is no plan to recruit or train them, and no extra budget to pay them. This is already set to be another broken promise.

So what of the manifesto commitment to scrap fees for parking at English NHS hospitals, billed by the Sunday Telegraph as axing charges for “millions”?

It’s another con. The Daily Mirror was the first to look closer at the wording, and show that the promise is to make parking free only for those “in greatest need”. So unless you are disabled, a “frequent” outpatient attender, a parent of a sick child staying overnight or a night shift NHS worker you will still have to fork out: the majority of staff, outpatients and almost all hospital visitors will still have to pay.

In Wales these charges were axed from 2008, and the Scottish parliament followed suit in 2009. It’s only in England and Northern Ireland we still have to pay. But with recent NHS policies pushing towards more downgrades and closures of local hospital services and “centralisation” of specialist and emergency care – alongside the continued run-down of privatised bus routes – the need for adequate parking is vital for patients and staff alike.

Many of the staff affected are of course nurses, who face not only stiff parking charges but a desperate shortage of parking space as an added pressure, on top of the increasing levels of stress they face in the workplace as a result of 40,000 unfilled nursing posts.

The promise of 50,000 “more nurses” has become the latest Tory untruth about the NHS to break through in the election debate. It was swiftly debunked, by the Guardian and Independent, by Nursing Notes and by Full Fact, which argued that with the latest figures showing 39,500 nursing posts vacant, an extra 50,000 would increase numbers by just 10,000. Even by the Daily Mail called out the government on the figures.

The Independent pointed out that at most 31,500 of the 50,000 would be “extra” nurses. “The 50,000 figure includes an estimated 18,500 existing nurses,” it revealed, “who will be encouraged to remain within the NHS or attracted back after leaving by new measures to improve career development opportunities.”

Nicky Morgan was sent to defend the claim on Good Morning Britain and was ridiculed on the “nonsense pledge” by Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid. During that interview we found out, through research by The Independent, that the plan includes “14,000 new nursing training places … as well as 5,000 more nursing apprentices and 12,500 recruits from abroad.”

So 19,000 of the 50,000 ‘nurses’ would not be qualified staff but students – after a U-turn in reversing the Cameron government’s decision to axe the NHS bursary.

The viability of recruiting so many overseas nurses is in serious doubt, especially given the huge drop in recruitment from EU countries since the Brexit vote, and the continuation of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” in new, brutal immigration policies unveiled by the Johnson government which effectively erect a giant neon “Piss Off” sign to deter overseas doctors and nurses.

The pitiful concession of a “half price” NHS visa, still costing £464, for staff coming here (a new cost after Brexit for EU staff who could come for nothing) is coupled with a projected further hike in the “immigration health surcharge” from £400 to £625 per person per year if a re-elected Johnson government fulfils its promise to Daily Mail readers to “get tough on post Brexit migrants”. These discriminatory charges have to be paid in addition to regular UK taxes by any staff who do decide to come.

Full Fact has also raised doubts over the minimal £879 million allocated to funding the extra nursing staff and reinstating the bursary. They argue that the full cost of employing 50,000 Band 5 nurses could be as high as £2.6 billion per year. But that assumes there would be anything like 50,000 extra staff to pay.

It’s clear the Johnson promises are not worth the paper they are printed on. Once more this winter we will see the irony of elderly Tory voters on trolleys in rural and city hospitals waiting for beds and treatment that have been cut back by the party they voted for.

After nine years of Tory-led governments running down the NHS, driving trusts into deficit, fragmenting and privatising services have left performance targets plummeting – and the looming threat of our NHS being carved up by Donald Trump in a post-Brexit trade deal, it’s time for a change.

Wealthy US donors gave millions to rightwing UK groups – including the John Templeton Foundation, which gave $497,000 to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), for research on alternatives to the NHS for an ageing population

‘Guardian’ 29 November 2019.

Revelations raise questions about influence of foreign funding on British politics

Eleven wealthy American donors who have given a total of more than $3.7m (£2.86m) to rightwing UK groups in the past five years have been identified, raising questions about the influence of foreign funding on British politics.

The donations have been given to four British thinktanks that have been vocal in the debate about Brexit and the shape of the UK’s future trade with the EU, and an organisation that claims to be an independent grassroots campaign representing ordinary British taxpayers.

Many of the donors have also given significant sums of money to a series of like-minded American groups which, like the British organisations, promote a free market agenda of low tax, lightly regulated business and privatisation of public services.

Critics allege that the British groups, which include the Institute of Economic Affairs, Policy Exchange and the Adam Smith Institute, have not been fully transparent about who funds them.

Although some donations are made public, the groups have a general policy of not disclosing their donors, saying they respect their supporters’ right to privacy unless the backers wish otherwise.

The Guardian has compiled a partial list of American donors to the British groups since 2014 by analysing thousands of pages of US tax filings that have been published, and other public declarations. The most recent available year for these filings is 2017.

The donors include foundations funded by the wealth of businessmen who made their money from finance, such as the Chase Foundation of Virginia and the Rosenkranz Foundation, and other businesses such as lubricating oils and glue.

The five British groups and their supporters have raised at least $6.8m in the past five years from US benefactors. However, the identities of many donors remain unknown because their donations cannot be traced in public records.

The largest visible donations, amounting to $3.3m, have been given to three British groups by foundations funded by the wealth of an ultra-conservative US billionaire financier, Sir John Templeton, who died in 2008.

One of the Templeton foundations last year gave a donation worth $1.5m to the Legatum Institute. Legatum said the foundation supported its research on the impact of economic openness on global growth and prosperity.

The thinktank said the donation, which runs out in 2021, had been made public on its website and in other publications, adding that it has “a strong policy of maintaining intellectual independence over all of our research programmes”.

Legatum was required last year by the Charity Commission to remove from its website a report advocating a hard Brexit, which was judged to be too partisan. Charities are required by law to be politically neutral. It stopped its work on Brexit last year.

The Adam Smith Institute has been one of a group of influential rightwing thinktanks credited with kickstarting some of the most controversial privatisations of the Thatcher and Major governments. It received donations from four other US donors.

The John Templeton Foundation also gave $497,000 to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), another prominent British thinktank, between 2014 and 2017.

The money has been given to researching alternatives to the NHS for an ageing population and to fund work on inspiring young people to become supporters of free markets, according to the foundation.

Andy Mayer, the IEA’s chief operating officer, said: “In any year around 5-10% of our income comes from the US (most of the rest from the UK).” The IEA’s annual income is around £2.5m. It has raised donations from American backers for two decades.

Mayer added that the IEA “is very happy and grateful to be part-funded by American institutes and American citizens who share our values, and whose extraordinary generosity supports our programmes”. Six other US donors to the IEA have been identified.

In February the Charity Commission gave the IEA a formal warning over its failure to be balanced and neutral in a report calling for a hard Brexit. The warning was later withdrawn and the report has since been edited and republished. The original report had been endorsed by prominent pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, including the former Brexit secretary David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Investigators from the environmental group Greenpeace last year covertly recorded the head of a US libertarian thinktank saying his group was planning to raise money to give to the IEA to campaign on Brexit. The head of the thinktank said his organisation was planning to raise between $250,000 and $400,000 to campaign on Brexit, most of which it would “ship over to the UK”.

The IEA said at the time that it had not received any cash from US businesses in relation to its work on trade and Brexit, and it did not recognise the sums of money being suggested by the Oklahoma-based thinktank, the E Foundation.

foundation run by the family of Vernon Krieble, a US businessman who developed a brand of glue, donated $60,000 to the UK TaxPayers’ Alliance.

The alliance describes itself as an “independent grassroots campaign” that represents “ordinary taxpayers fed up with government waste, increasing taxation, and a lack of transparency in all levels of government”.

John O’Connell, the chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “At the last count, the average value of over 20,000 donations to the TPA was £548, with less than 1% from corporate sources. We’re proud of our independence and wouldn’t accept money with a condition of controlling what we say – for instance, if a group of communists wanted to give us a fortune to promote communism we would obviously not accept it.”

Policy Exchange did not respond when asked to comment.

The Tories’ NHS Lies

Tribune Magazine 26/11/2019

From nurses to hospitals to overall investment, every major health pledge the Tories have made in this election campaign can be shown to be a lie. They can’t be trusted with the NHS.

The limp and reactionary Conservative manifesto threatens the UK population with, at best, five years of post-Brexit stagnation and decline or, at worst, the disaster of a No-Deal exit by the end of 2020.

In a token effort to reach out to the millions of Tories who did not (or now no longer) support Brexit, Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings have thrown in what they hope will be a couple of catchy promises in relation to England’s NHS.

  • “6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals, such as physiotherapists and pharmacists”
  • “An end to unfair hospital car parking charges by making parking free for those in greatest need”
  • “50,000 more nurses, with students receiving a £5,000-£8,000 annual maintenance grant”

These promises, of course, follow on previous equally spurious ones – the £1.8 billion of “new money” for repairs, most of which wasn’t new; the “fake forty” promise of “new hospitals”, when the real figure is six, several of which are rebuilds, with decisions on the others not due until at least 2025; and claims to be spending “record amounts” and £33.9 billion extra by 2024, when the real terms increase is just £20.5 billion, after nine years of virtually frozen funding.

The promise of 6,000 extra doctors (with the related promise of 50 million more appointments each year) –  points to a long-standing failure of governments since 2015 to deliver on Jeremy Hunt’s infamous promise of an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020. In fact, GP numbers have fallen by 1,000 in the past five years, while waits have increased.

Earlier this year a BMA report showed that the number of patients waiting over two weeks for an appointment with their GP was up by 13% compared to the same months in 2018. Appointments with a wait of over 28 days were up 15% on the previous year.

The promise of 6,000 GPs had already been made by Matt Hancock – and exposed by Pulse magazine as another misleading claim, including 3,000 trainees in the total along with just 3,000 qualified GPs. Perhaps that’s why Johnson’s manifesto is careful only to promise “more doctors in general practice” rather than GPs.

There has been little focus on the linked promise of another 6,000 primary care professionals: there is no plan to recruit or train them, and no extra budget to pay them. This is already set to be another broken promise.

So what of the manifesto commitment to scrap fees for parking at English NHS hospitals, billed by the Sunday Telegraph as axing charges for “millions”?

It’s another con. The Daily Mirror was the first to look closer at the wording, and show that the promise is to make parking free only for those “in greatest need”. So unless you are disabled, a “frequent” outpatient attender, a parent of a sick child staying overnight or a night shift NHS worker you will still have to fork out: the majority of staff, outpatients and almost all hospital visitors will still have to pay.

In Wales these charges were axed from 2008, and the Scottish parliament followed suit in 2009. It’s only in England and Northern Ireland we still have to pay. But with recent NHS policies pushing towards more downgrades and closures of local hospital services and “centralisation” of specialist and emergency care – alongside the continued run-down of privatised bus routes – the need for adequate parking is vital for patients and staff alike.

Many of the staff affected are of course nurses, who face not only stiff parking charges but a desperate shortage of parking space as an added pressure, on top of the increasing levels of stress they face in the workplace as a result of 40,000 unfilled nursing posts.

The promise of 50,000 “more nurses” has become the latest Tory untruth about the NHS to break through in the election debate. It was swiftly debunked, by the Guardian and Independent, by Nursing Notes and by Full Fact, which argued that with the latest figures showing 39,500 nursing posts vacant, an extra 50,000 would increase numbers by just 10,000. Even by the Daily Mail called out the government on the figures.

The Independent pointed out that at most 31,500 of the 50,000 would be “extra” nurses. “The 50,000 figure includes an estimated 18,500 existing nurses,” it revealed, “who will be encouraged to remain within the NHS or attracted back after leaving by new measures to improve career development opportunities.”

Nicky Morgan was sent to defend the claim on Good Morning Britain and was ridiculed on the “nonsense pledge” by Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid. During that interview we found out, through research by The Independent, that the plan includes “14,000 new nursing training places … as well as 5,000 more nursing apprentices and 12,500 recruits from abroad.”

So 19,000 of the 50,000 ‘nurses’ would not be qualified staff but students – after a U-turn in reversing the Cameron government’s decision to axe the NHS bursary.

The viability of recruiting so many overseas nurses is in serious doubt, especially given the huge drop in recruitment from EU countries since the Brexit vote, and the continuation of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” in new, brutal immigration policies unveiled by the Johnson government which effectively erect a giant neon “Piss Off” sign to deter overseas doctors and nurses.

The pitiful concession of a “half price” NHS visa, still costing £464, for staff coming here (a new cost after Brexit for EU staff who could come for nothing) is coupled with a projected further hike in the “immigration health surcharge” from £400 to £625 per person per year if a re-elected Johnson government fulfils its promise to Daily Mail readers to “get tough on post Brexit migrants”. These discriminatory charges have to be paid in addition to regular UK taxes by any staff who do decide to come.

Full Fact has also raised doubts over the minimal £879 million allocated to funding the extra nursing staff and reinstating the bursary. They argue that the full cost of employing 50,000 Band 5 nurses could be as high as £2.6 billion per year. But that assumes there would be anything like 50,000 extra staff to pay.

It’s clear the Johnson promises are not worth the paper they are printed on. Once more this winter we will see the irony of elderly Tory voters on trolleys in rural and city hospitals waiting for beds and treatment that have been cut back by the party they voted for.

After nine years of Tory-led governments running down the NHS, driving trusts into deficit, fragmenting and privatising services have left performance targets plummeting – and the looming threat of our NHS being carved up by Donald Trump in a post-Brexit trade deal, it’s time for a change.

……..

See ‘Independent’ link to a fantastic opinion piece that our own (KONP) Dr Jacky Davis wrote yesterday for the Independent on the subject of the Conservatives 50,000 extra nurses claim.

The danger of a Tory post-Brexit NHS trade deal with the US.

The Tory candidate for Warwick and Leamington will assure us at the Hustings that the NHS is safe under the Tories telling us Boris Johnson says the NHS will not be part of any US trade deal. But Johnson has lied before and 45% of the British public don’t believe him.

Here is how to challenge him. Mainstream media claim that the Labour Party’s fears that parts of the NHS will be sold to the US as part of any post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are unfounded.

But “free trade” treaties don’t necessarily include specific words like “National Health Service” or “workers’ rights.” Indeed, the lengthy, dense texts often purposefully avoid specifics so that corporate lawyers have enough loopholes to threaten to sue over perceived hindrances to their profits.

US companies already have a hand in running core aspects of the NHS, including supplying IBM computers, Windows operating systems, iPads for nurses and paramedics, Google’s DeepMind analytics, and various pharmaceuticals. Empowered by an FTA, they could soon boost prices, demand national treatment, and see public ownership of the NHS as unfair competition. Don’t believe Trump’s lies.

See more in The London Economic

American corporations are already taking over parts of our health service. See SWKONP Blog UK outsourcing – US corporations expand across NHS mental healthcare. One in eight inpatient beds in England provided by American companies (Financial Time 8th November 2019).

The iniquitous points-based Tory NHS immigration policy which is supposed to attract staff to Britain.

The iniquitous points-based Tory NHS immigration policy which is supposed to attract staff to Britain. But it will a) Still cost £468 for a visa and b) charge the very staff who have come to the UK to run the NHS £400 to use it:

‘The party would introduce a “points-based system” for migrant workers from EU and non-EU countries.

It has yet to spell out in detail how this will work – but it has announced that extra points will be awarded for coming to work in the NHS.

The cost of applying for a visa would also be reduced from £928 to £464 for medical professionals, and they would be guaranteed a decision within two weeks, under Tory plans.

Those granted an NHS visa would also be allowed to pay the annual £400 compulsory health insurance charge out of their salary’.

(BBC) 8th November and Guardian 8th November 2019.