Health Secretary Matt Hancock has accepted £32,000 from the chairman of a think-tank which wants to scrap the NHS.
He also took £5,000 from the director of a private nursing firm which supplies agency workers to the health service.
The donations will raise questions about the 39-year-old’s commitment to the NHS and could embroil him in a conflict of interest row.
Theresa May promoted Mr Hancock from Culture Secretary to Health Secretary on Monday after predecessor Jeremy Hunt replaced Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders said: “The NHS is our national treasure so it’s a disgrace that Theresa May has appointed a health secretary with links to organisations that want to break it up and sell it off.”
Mr Hancock has accepted nine donations worth £32,000 from Neil Record, chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs, official records show.
Mr Record, 65, was appointed chair in 2015 after seven years on its board.
The IEA’s head of health and welfare, Dr Kristian Niemietz, has called for the NHS to be privatised and replaced with a private insurance-based system.
Last week, on the 70th birthday of the NHS, the IEA described the service as an “international laggard”, adding that “it
is time to look to the social health insurance systems in Europe”.
Mr Hancock also accepted £5,000 in March 2015 from Gurdev Dadral, the director of private nursing agency Swiis, a Mirror investigation found.
Mr Dadral could not be reached for comment. There is no suggestion Mr Hancock has broken any rules.
But Mr Madders said: “The new Health Secretary must urgently explain whether he still has links with private healthcare firms.
“Our NHS is not for sale.”
The Department of Health declined to comment tonight.
A Government source did not deny the donations had been made but said any suggestion Mr Hancock was contemplating privatising or abolishing the NHS was “wholly wrong”.
The source added: “The Health Secretary is committed to keeping the NHS free at the point of use. He will not countenance any change.”
The NHS spent £4.1billion on care by private providers in 2009/10 but the annual sum soared to £9billion in 2016/17, according to Government data.
Cheshire-born Mr Hancock was a special adviser to then-Shadow Chancellor George Osborne before becoming his chief of staff.
An analysis of records from both the Register of Interests and the Electoral Commission shows Mr Hancock has accepted £32,000 from Mr Record since 2010.
As well as serving as chairman of the IEA, millionaire Mr Record is founder and the chairman of Record Currency Management, a specialist currency manager.
The most recent donation was in November last year, when Mr Record gifted Mr Hancock £4,000.
An IEA spokeswoman said: “Neil Record’s support for Matt Hancock not only pre-dates his elevation to the chairmanship of the IEA, but it also pre-dates Matt Hancock’s promotion to any Government post.
“He has never had any commercial or any other lobbying-type relationship with Matt, nor has he ever discussed his responsibilities in any context that relates to him personally, or his chairmanship of the IEA.
“His donation is personal. It is already in the public domain that he is a supporter of, and donor to, the Conservative Party. This in no way alters the IEA’s position of independence from alignment with any party.”
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