MP apologises for failing to mention interest

BOSTON MP Mark Simmonds has apologised to the House of Commons for failing to register an interest during debates on the Government’s health reforms.

Mr Simmonds earns £50,000 a year in a 10-hour-a-month role with private healthcare provider Circle Healthcare – a fact shown on MPs’ register of interests.

However Mr Simmonds did not mention the fact – as rules state – when speaking in debates on the Health and Social Care Bill in January and March last year.

He told the Commons on Monday: “It has been brought to my attention that on January 31 and March 16 2011, I inadvertently omitted to draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests relating to strategic advice that I provide to a social enterprise health care provider.

“I would like to take this opportunity both to correct the record and to apologise.”

Mr Simmonds was a shadow health minister but did not get a role in the coalition government.

He recently told The Standard: “The evidence is overwhelming that competition within health services drives up quality of care for patients.”