More Hunt Balls: how the Health Secretary ‘protects’ whistleblowers

Sharmila Chowdhury is an NHS whistleblower who reported consultant fraud in an NHS hospital and was dismissed as a result. The case is about as shocking as any I’ve come across.
Ms Chowdhury reported fraudulent professional claims (amounting to £280,000) to her senior management in an NHS Trust.  The report was fully evidenced, but in a pernicious cover-up, false counterclaims were used to frame her. She  was marched out of the hospital in full view of her colleagues by a senior HR manager – and then dismissed.
She quickly took the claim to a Tribunal, and won easily: the judge instructed the Trust to reinstate her, but its management refused…offering the convenient excuse that ‘new technology’ had rendered her post redundant. Short of funds and unemployed, Sharmila Chowdhury settled for a sum which barely covered her legal fees.
At Richmond House in June 2014, Chowdhury and six other similarly bullied whistleblowers went to Richmond house to meet with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. As part of his strategy to position the NHS as an overspending shambles riddled with corruption, Hunt had been mouthing off in the media about how NHS whistleblowers should come forward and be assured of complete protection.
At the Richmond House meeting, the Health Secretary was effusive in his thanks, and seemed committed to dealing with Chowdhury’s completely undeserved outcome. In February 2015, in fact, he told the House of Commons about whistleblowers “who were blacklisted from future employment in the NHS as the system closed ranks”. Closed ranks indeed: despite her qualifications backed up by 35 years’ NHS experience and an unblemished service record, Sharmila has been unable to find work in radiography or management, failed to get interviews, had interview offers withdrawn and even had a job offer withdrawn.
Now 56, she is out of work and about to fall behind on her mortgage. She has breast and lung cancer, with no partner to care for her.
This is Ms Chowdhury’s remarkably restrained response to what has happened to her:
‘I am puzzled by the stance of NHS leaders, including the Department of Health, CQC etc. We hear praise for whistleblowers in public but there has been no help for those of us who have been ruined. This sets a bad example. NHS staff see that speaking up can amount to professional suicide….My own case is not so complex. The action covers a short space of time. My claim was upheld at the tribunal. I am convinced that a full airing of my case would be conclusive and in the public interest.’
But Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, then man who urged all whistleblowers to come forward without fear, doesn’t want to know. Having asked Sir Robert Francis to chair the grandly titled Freedom to Speak Up Review, Hunt then used the raw material for his headline-grabbing Commons speech, in which Hunt also declared that he had “heard, again and again, horrific stories of people’s lives being destroyed – people losing their jobs, being financially ruined, being brought to the brink of suicide and with family lives shattered – because they had tried to do the right thing for patients.”
So shocked was the Health Secretary, in fact, he then proceeded to do nothing whatsoever to help the victims. Having enjoyed his platform, Jeremy Hunt moved on. A year on, he hasn’t responded to, or acted to right the injustice done to, Sharmila Chowdhury.
I am at a loss to understand why, given the established facts in this case – and its existence in the public domain for two years – no police investigation of the fraud involved has been launched….especially in the light of the Trust being overtly condemned by the Tribunal judge.
But then, these days the police are far too busy fitting up 90 year-old retired disc jockeys, and sitting on their thumbs in relation to the Elm House scandal….courtesy of Mayor Johnson.

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I’ve been on Jeremy Hunt’s case for six years. As regular Sloggers will know, there’s a dedicated page Hunt Balls that has been following his career in politics – a saga I’ve come to think of as The Fake’s Progress.
And do not be in any doubt: the bloke is counterfeit. He lies, he evades, and he acts out views and attitudes that do not even begin to reflect what he really is. The only difference between Jeremy Hunt and Grant Shapps is that Grant isn’t very bright. What makes Hunt every bit as dangerous as Boris Johnson is that he has a high IQ with a penchant for grubby networking.
Jeremy Hunt’s company Hotcourses was saved from early death by his connection to Virginia Bottomley. It won prizes as an outstanding London employer using means which former employees claim were nothing short of vote rigging. This company was due to be bought, but under some sort of alleged due diligence cloud, the deal fell through. Cameron appointed Hunt as Culture & Media Secretary knowing his close relationship with BSkyB bidder Newscorp. During the bidding process, a great deal of evidence suggested that Hunt’s behaviour was improper. When this came to light, Hunt withheld many emails from MPs….emails that could easily be construed as incriminatory. His sole defence in the scandal that followed was “I have done nothing wrong”. Despite this apparent millstone round his neck, in the Cabinet reshuffle that followed, David Cameron promoted this Minister most had expected to be fired to Health Secretary. His second cousin by marriage Virginia Bottomley is the private health sector’s main lobbyist in the House of Lords. When she was elevated to the Lords, Hunt walked into her Commons seat of Surrey SW.
You see, Jeremy Hunt knows the right people. When Shadow culture secretary in 2008, he visited New York on ‘a fact-finding mission’ about the media there. While there, he had five meetings with one news organisation: Newscorp. Shortly afterwards, Newscorp switched its allegiance from Labour to Conservative. So you see, Jeremy is behind more stuff than most voters realise.
The trip to New York was bankrolled by a Mr J J Lewis of Somewhere in Dorset. Lewis was for some years the Chairman of Soho’s infamous Groucho Club. On Lewis’s watch, the Club was discovered to have been the owner of a paedophile-frequented website. It was also revealed to have been using surveillance cameras to record its members’ antics. When accused of this, Lewis sued the accuser, and lost. (Tyrone??)
This is the man who has been Jeremy Hunt’s major political donor for much of his career. What we don’t know is why. Although we do know that Lewis’s daughter was for some time an enthusiastic recreational regular at The Groucho….and that Lewis once shared an influential Tory committee with David Cameron.
Of the two portfolios Hunt has held, the first involved a massive conflict of interest given his long and well-documented relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp; the second was given to him despite a pamphlet he co-authored with Daniel Hannan on why the entire NHS should be dismantled.
I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions as to the nature of Jeremy Hunt’s character.

Last night at The Slog: First round to Waspi

28 thoughts on “More Hunt Balls: how the Health Secretary ‘protects’ whistleblowers

  1. Hunt always seems to me ‘ lights are on but no one is home’. I was obviously very wrong in assuming others were pulling his strings.
    I had no idea of the extent of his blatant duplicity.

    How does one ever challenge such incestuous ‘rule’?

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  2. Oh wait, he’s just like all the rest of them then.
    I read today that Head of BBC News is James Harding, Murdoch’s former editor and Gideon’s best friend, maybe that explains the BBC’s position with regard to the Govt?

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  3. From my experience with reference to Whitsleblowers … the Whistleblowing Act is a scam to find out who has whistleblowed and then suspended them, followed by a frame up and then dismissal. Beware Whistleblowers your life is at stake!

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  4. There is a blatant opening for a dedicated offshore website……immune to legal retribution…
    A website that lists in every detail the bad things that people in public office have done. The public servants, the people nominated democratically. If they blot their copybook, and it is recorded in A PLACE ON THE NET…voters can decide for themselves.
    Jeremy Hunt should be ASHAMED OF HIMSELF

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  5. The last thing that any of the psychopaths in power want is principled, honest and vocal underlings who have the ability to expose their atrocious behaviour. Secrecy is a chancre that seems to infect all large bureaucratic organisations. The treatment of this NHS whistleblower is a warning to any other honest public servant that exposing their masters will lead to the destruction of their reputation and livelihood.

    The war on whistleblowers has been intensifying in the U.S. and Canada as well as the UK. I remember soon after my arrival listening to a CBC investigative report about the case of three Health Canada employees, Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon and Gerrard Lambert. They exposed the criminal machinations of Monsanto who had suborned senior bureaucrats in Health Canada to push through approval of Monsanto’s dangerous Bovine Growth hormone. These three principled scientists had such misgivings about the effects of this hormone that they blew the whistle and were promptly sacked. This was under a Liberal Government. The case became extremely well-known and sparked a world-wide debate about the use of artificial hormones in stimulating milk production. The whistleblowers had very few protections, but they had made use of several loopholes that allowed them to escape a criminal prosecution. Before the election of Harper and his criminal cronies, a Tory shadow minister met the scientists ostensibly to find out how to better protect federal whistleblowers. Once elected however, the new Tory government passed legislation that effectively removed all the loopholes used by the scientists. As Harper and his Neocon henchmen became more entrenched in the fabric of Canadian institutions, they effectively criminalised all government whistle-blowing.

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2011/08/13/effectively_silencing_canadas_whistleblowers.html

    (BTW I searched for the original CBC programme that I have such a strong memory of, but their is no mention of it on the interwebs. I am increasingly of the opinion that Google is actively censoring searches, and is ‘memory-holing’ articles that threaten the PTB.)

    Sibel Edmonds, Susan Landauer, Bradley Manning… the list in the U.S. is extensive and growing all the time.

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  6. @PFTW – the Canadian experience would suggest that is exactly what the Act is for. The name of the Act gives it away. I was listening to an In Our Time about the California gold rush a few days ago. The legislation that effectively genocided the California Indians was called “The Act for the Government and Protection of Indians.” These fcukers have always had a sick sense of humour.

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  7. A corrupt system will ALWAYS adopt corrupt practices to ensure the corruption is maintained. The current policy of dealing with whisteleblowers is a front to actually weeding out the whistleblowers and that is THE BEST POLICY TO ENSURE THE CORRUPTION CAN REMAIN.

    What they can’t handle however is the information coming out through other sources and protecting the identity of the whistleblower. They cannot then remove the whistleblower and are unable to contain the scandal. Anybody trying to set up such a system though will because a crime has allegedly (for sure) been committed not be able to prevent the police getting involved in THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CORRUPT SYSTEM, determining the whistleblower, isolate them and then burying the scandal with the lip service of it is an ongoing investigation.

    System is so rigged now that the police & justice (both politicially influenced) is now directed to preserving the corruption.

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  8. Where can Iay hands on this (extremely damaging) pamphlet Hunt allegedly co-wrote with Hannan? If the BMA know about this, they’ve never said so, and it explains everything about his actions wrt the NHS.

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  9. Jeremy Front-Bottomley is a double-dealing douchebag and a serious health hazard to all UK citizens; thanks to him and his ilk, we now have a Notional Health Service.

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  10. It occurred to me – in a fit of uncharacteristically mean-spiritedness – that one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) little master Hunt will fall prey to a debilitating illness and be dependent on the good offices or otherwise of someone who has every reason to be less than sympathetic towards his odious presence. Would it be too much to ask that some antibiotic-resistant lurgey take up residence in one or other of his stummicks?

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  11. What a depressing post .. very similar stories of corruption and cronyism in France . The public seems to accept this now as part and parcel of life , and in the face of such apathy things can only get worse .

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  12. Well done Mr Ward . Good solidly worked invedtigstive journslism keep up this type of reportage for as long as you can from an offshore location until French kr pan Brusseks Directives eventually prevent people like you from doing so Europe -wide. Content even if only partially verifiable truly o shocking as is the G4S incident if proven.

    Unfortunately as others have said the Establishment will always circle the wagons when threatened and with the growth of ever more potent oligarchies twill ever be thus .

    Welcome to the new Securitate.

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  13. Maybe all this explains the radio 4 today program presenter’s verbal gaff. It was what was going through his head and it is all true!

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  14. John I hope I get to blow your trumpet now and then but my world leaves so much to be believed. Bit drunk now so not too wary but I have worlds to share with inequality, murder of innocents by innocents, with innocents suffering (me) to this day. Please help us vets of the Gulf.

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  15. It occurs to me, apropos of nothing perhaps, that I don’t know any corrupt people personally. But then I am a simple wage earner who knows other simple wage earners and other less than notable people. Not that I intend to glorify myself as some picture book yeoman. I am just some schmuck.

    I have two points to make maybe three. The first is being corruption paves the way to the top. This probably has always been so to some degree but for reasons probably due to modern communications and efficiency of the form of the modern business corporation corruption has become endemic. The second is that some those simple wage earners I know are not corrupt because due to circumstance some of them never got a chance to rise to a level where corruption would pay. Given a decent chance they would happily go along with and follow the Party or the company or the organization line but they simply never got the chance.

    Humans are eminently corruptible but thankfully most will not corrupt themselves so like in the cases here the high can be corrupt with impunity. The problem being that the true people of conscience by definition will not hold power to break the cycle of corruption.

    The third point it’s too damn late anyway.

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  16. We all know that to do harm to, or kill a person is not lawfull.

    We also know that the alleged government has knowingly initiated a series of policies which have caused the deaths of thousands of people and harm and injury to many times more that number.

    So it is clear. the fundamental rule of just Law in this country has broken down. It no longer exists and never will again.

    So I have to wonder – If the Law no longer protects people from the worst excesses of government ©, corporations and other people and organisations, but in fact is now used as a weapon to subjgate and disenfranchise ‘duuuuuh peeeeepil’,
    what mandate, what authority does our government © now have ?

    If the Law of the jungle prevails and the Law is used to protect and facilitate corruption, fraud and mass murder among the elite, while simultaneously being used as a weapon of oppression and injustice against the ordinary folk [the people whose parents couldnt buy them a free meal ticket] WHERE IS THEIR MANDATE ?

    By what authority do ‘they’ govern ‘us’ ?

    I will say it again, this road leads to a totalitarian, corporate, fascist state. How much proof do the 70 million halfwits in this country need ?

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  17. Spike, wait until Strictly Come Dancing is cancelled – all hell will let loose – letters to the Times, demos outside the tv studios, all police leave cancelled, a terror alert will be imposed …….

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  18. Sorry John a wee bit Off Topic… but thought it would be good for people to see as I fear it explains much of what is going on?… watch short video this and it’ll all make sense…. Roger Scruton is spot on with this. THIS is the enemy within that we are dealing with. 40 years of universities becoming virtual madrassas for this bullshit have wreaked absolute havoc with European culture. This must be fought on every level or we are doomed as a culture.

    Please share this!

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  19. @Roland

    All part of the divide and conquer strategy. Distract and divide the herd while you continue to exploit and cull them has been an efficient strategy for centuries. The ideas of Cultural Marxism would not have flourished in academia without the blessing of those in power. Any academic who suggests modes of thought that threaten TPTB is denied tenure or ostracised. Steve Keen’s economic theories initially meant that his career languished. Norman Finkelstein was fired and denied tenure despite having the most glowing testimonials from fellow academics and students. True diversity of thought is a myth in the Western Academy. Distract and divide has worked for centuries in different guises and will continue to do so until the populace becomes aware of the game.

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  20. I absolutely agree Canexpat. Go against the grain and you’ll be professionally buried in double quick time. Utterly sinister and anathema to genuine academia.

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  21. Pingback: Forced to pay. | thepoliticalprison

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