PMQs update: Cameron faces allegation of ‘misleading’ the House of Commons

In my PMQs review for May 18th, I paraphrased this answer from David Cameron as recorded here in Hansard as follows:

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to clear this up. When I read about Mr Britnell being my adviser, I was slightly puzzled, because I have never heard of this person in my life, and he is not my adviser. However, I did a little research, and it turned out that he was an adviser to the previous Government. [Hon. Members: “More!”] Oh, don’t worry, there is plenty more. He helped to develop Labour’s NHS plan in 2000, which increased the role of the private sector, he was appointed by Labour as chief executive of one of the 10 strategic health authorities set up by Labour, and when the Leader of the Opposition was in the Cabinet, Mark Britnell was director general for NHS commissioning. Although I do not know him, therefore, I suspect that Labour Members know him rather well.

This answer has now led to an allegation that David Cameron misled the House. The Editor’s blog at Health Policy Insight (HPI) has the full story here.

Responding to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, NHS South Central has today released a copy of Mark Britnell’s diary from May 2007 which includes evidence of a meeting attended by Mark Britnell and David Cameron, amongst others.

As the Editor’s blog on HPI notes:

Despite certain information being redacted, Mr Britnell’s NHS South Central diary clearly confirms that a meeting with Mr David Cameron was planned for 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm on Friday 16th February 2007, with a preparatory half-hour briefing at 11.00 am on Thursday 15th.

Here is the excerpt from the diary which records the planned meeting (click to enlarge):

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4 Comments

  • How come the NHS trust has responded to an FoI request so quickly? I’ve never got such a quick response!

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