Friday 16 April 2021 7:24 am

Hancock and sister received shares in firm that won lucrative NHS contract

A company which Health Secretary Matt Hancock and his sister have shares in has won contracts from the NHS, it has emerged.

NHS Wales gave the firm, which specialises in storage, shredding and scanning of documents, £300,000 of business this year.

The ministerial codes states that ministers must declare interests of close family if they believe they might give rise to conflict.

Labour said the revelation was “cronyism at the heart of this government”, while shadow health secretary Jonathon Ashmorth called it “shocking”.

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A government spokesman said that Hancock had acted “entirely responsibly” and that there was no conflict of interest.

In March this year, Hancock declared that he had acquired more than 15 per cent of the shares of a company called Topwood Ltd.

However, the register failed to mention that his sister Emily Gilruth was director of the firm and owned a larger portion of the shares, as first reported by the Guido Fawkes blog.

Company records show his sister was involved in the firm from its establishment in 2002.

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Public contract records show that the NHS gave Topwood a spot in its Shared Business Services framework as a potential supplier for local NHS trusts in 2019.

A government spokesperson said: “Mr Hancock has acted entirely properly in these circumstances.

“All declarations of interest have been made in accordance with the ministerial code. Ministers have no involvement in the awarding of these contracts, and no conflict of interest arises.”

Hancock is yet to respond.

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