Matt Hancock broke ministerial code over stake in sister's firm

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has committed a “minor” but not willful breach of the Ministerial Code, according to a report.

The health minister did not state that a family business he was involved in had won an NHS contract, the prime minister’s ethics adviser said.

Wrexham-based Topwood Ltd was awarded a place in Shared Business Services as a potential supplier to local NHS trusts in February 2019, seven months after Mr. Hancock became Minister of Health.

He had a 20% stake in the shredding company owned and run by his sister and brother-in-law.

Lord Geidt, an independent advisor on ministerial standards, today published a much belated report in the interests of ministers.

He said Mr. Hancock’s failure to declare the link and the contract award for Topwood Ltd was a “technical” violation of the rules.

But they added that it was “in no way deliberate”.

He added that the Minister of Health “acted with integrity throughout”.

He said: “I appreciate that this previous failure to declare interest was due to his lack of knowledge and in no way deliberate and therefore technically a minor breach of the Ministerial Code.

“I advised the Prime Minister accordingly.

“In making this statement, I acknowledge that Mr. Hancock has acted with integrity throughout and that this event should in no way call into question his good character or his ministerial record.”

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