Matt Hancock: Health secretary accused of ‘cronyism’ after it emerges he has shares in firm used by NHS Wales

The company, Topwood Ltd, was reportedly given £300,000 of business this year from NHS Wales and specialises in shredding and scanning of documents and secure storage.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock speaks at the government coronavirus briefing at Downing Street on March 5, 2021 (Getty Images)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and his sister have got shares in a company that has won contracts from NHS Wales, it has emerged.

The company was reportedly given £300,000 of business this year from NHS Wales and specialises in shredding and scanning of documents and secure storage.

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‘Mr Hancock has acted entirely properly’

A government spokesman told the BBC that there was no conflict of interest and that Mr Hancock had acted “entirely properly".

The spokesman 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."

‘Cronyism at the heart of this government’

However, Labour said it amounted to "cronyism at the heart of this government".

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth told the broadcaster that the connection between the company and Mr Hancock was “shocking”.

He said: “Sadly I suspect no one is surprised any more at the cronyism at the heart of this government.”

Mr Hancock’s connections to Topwood Ltd

The health secretary declared in the MPs’ register this March that he had more than 15% of the shares in a company called Topwood Ltd.

However, the register did not mention that his sister Emily Gilruth is a director of the company and owned a larger portion of shares.

It also failed to mention that Topwood has links to the NHS - as first reported by the Guido Fawkes blog and Health Service Journal.

A Department of Health source told the BBC that Mr Hancock had discussed the shares in the firm before he accepted them.

The department said Mr Hancock had no active role in running the company and, as health secretary for England, he had no responsibility for NHS Wales.