'Revolving door' leads ex-health chief into job with lobbying firm
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Friday 29 July 2011
England's former chief medical officer has joined a global lobbying firm advising companies in the private health industry.
Sir Liam Donaldson, who retired last year after 12 years in the post, has been recruited by APCO Worldwide as a member of its international advisory council. The company has a string of UK healthcare clients including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers.
The appointment has renewed concern about former ministers and senior civil servants moving to positions in industries which they were previously monitoring. Last year, APCO signed up the former Labour cabinet minister John Hutton as a consultant.
The Labour MP Paul Flynn told PR Week: "This looks like another worrying example of the revolving door from independent public service to the world of commerce. There is widespread concern that former ministers, civil servants and generals swiftly metamorphose from high office into the paid servants of business, possibly after hawking around their contacts book and insider knowledge."
Sir Liam, 62, told The Independent yesterday he would be spending "a day every two months" working for APCO and would be paid on a fee-for-service basis. Most of his time was spent working in the public sector – he is the World Health Organisation's envoy for patient safety and chair of the monitoring board for the eradication of polio, among other posts.
"It is not particularly significant because I have not got much time for consultancy work. I get paid for the jobs I do, not for sitting on the advisory council," he said. "The kind of work I will be doing will be giving a speech or leading a seminar for health policy makers."
Ministers and top civil servants have to notify the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) of any new jobs taken up within two years of leaving office. Sir Liam said he was restricted from lobbying the Government, the usual condition imposed on people in his position.
Life & Style blogs
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
KickAssTorrents down: biggest file-sharing site moves to .cr domain after takedowns
Audrey Hepburn is officially Britain’s style icon – 22 years after her death
Protein World 'Beach body ready' advert: Mass demonstration in Hyde Park planned against 'body-shaming' weight loss advertisements
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...