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Tory chair of health committee being investigated over NHS lobbying claims

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The Conservative MP who chairs the Commons health and social care committee is under investigation over allegations he lobbied the NHS and ministers on behalf of a recruitment firm that employed him.Steve Brine, a former health minister, was put under investigation by parliament’s standards commissioner over “paid advocacy and declaration of an interest”.It comes after messages leaked to the Telegraph as part of its “lockdown files” investigation showed Brine had contacted the cabinet minister Michael Gove about an offer from the recruitment company Remedium to supply anaesthetists in early 2021.The message said: “I have been trying for months to help the NHS through a company I am connected with – called ‘Remedium’.

They have 50 anaesthetists right now who can be in the country and on the ground in the NHS if someone only said let’s us help.

They just want to assist and asked me how they might. “Despite offering this to health and to Simon Stevens I’ve had nothing despite SS telling the press conference last week this is an acute problem, despite the PM telling the liaison committee this is his biggest problem etc etc.”Gove passed the message on to Matt Hancock, the then health secretary, with further leaked WhatsApp messages showing that a special adviser in the health department said he was trying to help Brine and that the team were “sorting it”.“Steve’s being a nob right now and I’ve no idea why.

Been chasing my tail trying to sort loads of stuff for him (not least his hospital) and he still acts like this,” the adviser told Hancock.Brine was employed by Remedium as an ad hoc consultant being paid £800 a day from September 2019 to February 2020; then from July 2020 he began being paid £1,600 for eight hours’ work

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