Canterbury: the gritty electoral battleground in the Tory heartlands

The resignation of Tim Walker – Canterbury’s Liberal Democrat candidate for the 2019 general election – is just the tip of the iceberg of the complex political battle current raging in this historical city in the heart of the garden of England.

Canterbury voted in favour of remaining in the European Union in 2016. Over 60% of Canterbury’s population voted not to leave the EU and both of it’s Universities, including the University of Kent that boasts the moniker of being the UK’s ‘European university’, openly support remaining in the Union.

While this would appear to be an advantage to Rosie Duffield, who has always vocally supported remaining in the Union, her own party’s neutral position over Brexit could cost her votes. While Tim Walker has stepped down in Canterbury, the Liberal Democrats have told Channel 4 that they still plan to run a candidate in Canterbury, potentially leeching support from the Labour MP. They have  chosen an ex-councilor to run called Claire Malcolmson. Vote shares for Canterbury predict the Liberal Democrats to gain 23% of the City’s vote, giving the Conservatives a comfortable lead of 6% on Labour. However, if just 30% of Canterbury’s remain population voted ‘tactically’ – voting irrespective of party line and focusing on a candidate’s Brexit stance – then the scales could be tipped in favour of a Labour win.

However, understanding the difficult position Rosie Duffield is currently in requires context on Canterbury as a constituency, and what makes Canterbury such a difficult city to predict in the 2019 election.

Before 2017, most election polls predicted a comfortable win for the Conservatives, making Canterbury a certain ‘safe’ seat; one that has been held by a Conservative for almost it’s entire 100-year existence. In 2017, the Tory frontman Sir Julian Brazier was looking to shore up his considerable majority in the city – a majority he had held his entire 25-year career as an MP. In 2015, Sir Brazier won by a 42% majority, beating his nearest competitor by over 9000 votes.  

The Tories were confident, given the constituencies location in the heart of Kent, they were further reassured when Brazier’s opponent was announced: an ex-teaching assistant with no prior Parliamentary experience, Rosie Duffield. Duffield’s prior popularity in the Labour Party was scarce. Her political experience was limited to an unsuccessful run for the council in 2015, as well as her work as a political satire writer.

Labour’s gains in the 2017 election surprised pundits across the political spectrum, and Canterbury was no different. With a majority of just 187 votes, Rosie Duffield beat the incumbent Julien Brazier to become Canterbury’s MP. After conceding defeat, Mr Brazier blamed Canterbury’s invigorated student population for the shock win.

On a national scale, the student vote appeared to factor heavily into Labour’s success, with reports estimating that almost 90% of the student population eligible to vote registered in the election, with a further 55% of students backing Jeremy Corbyn’s Party.

Since 2017, Rosie Duffield has cemented her place in Labour Party politics, becoming the Secretary to the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and serving on several Parliamentary committees. In 2018, Duffield demonstrated her commitment to staying in the European Union by being one of 6 frontbench MPs to resist a Labour whip to abstain from voting to remain in the EU single market after Brexit, precipitating her exit from the shadow cabinet.

In late 2019, she made further headlines after a speech on her experiences surviving and overcoming domestic abuse during a hearing on Theresa May’s domestic violence bill – a speech which moved the Commons to tears.

Duffield also took a very vocal stance on antisemitism in the party, admitting to reporters in 2018 that Labour did have a ‘problem’ with antisemitism, leading to condemnation from Canterbury Council’s Labour chairman. Ms Duffield has shored up her meteoric rise in leftwing politics and in just two years has made herself into one of the Labour Party’s rising stars.

But her competition this year will be difficult.

Sir Brazier’s favourite was elected his successor to become Canterbury’s Conservative candidate – a veteran of local politics, Anna Firth. Firth is an ex-barrister, Councilor, and ran for the European Parliament in 2017. The avowed Brexiteer gained local infamy in October when she shared a video with Boris Johnson, promising a new hospital was being created in Canterbury, a hospital that, it was later revealed, did not even appear in the government’s plans. Firth’s highly pro-Brexit stance has led to a deep affinity with Boris Johnson and other hardline Conservative Brexiteers – an affinity which may resonate with voters in the traditional Tory heartlands.

Canterbury will serve as an important litmus test for the 2019 general election, with all of the major frontrunning parties fielding hopeful MPs. Whether Canterbury remain supporters are willing to put party allegiance aside and vote strategically to stop Firth’s election, however, is beyond prediction.

Local Election Roundup- Brexit hangs heavy over results

The 2019 Local Elections has produced some expected results and equally unexpected results – however, there are evident things that jump out portraying the public and society’s opinion on each of the main political parties.

The governing Conservative Party have, at the time of writing, lost over 900 councillors with more losses predicted to come shortly. Their support is at an all-time low, shown by recent historical lows in Tory polling. The country has lost its confidence in the government and party needs to get it’s act together or they could risk driving themselves into permanent opposition.

The Labour Party were expected to gain councillors in the Local Elections today but despite 9 years in opposition at the time writing this they have lost over 100 councillors.

Labour seems to have been punished for its vague and indecisive policy on Brexit. The leadership need to correct the parties viewpoint and make it clear what they want for the next steps. Members of the cabinet say that they want a second referendum and others publicly say that they would like to carry out and respect the result of the 2016 referendum.

The public is confused – and the party is confused. The party’s stance on Brexit needs to be made unequivocally clear before they move on. I support the Labour Party and they need to make it clear what they want to regain the trust and support of the people.

The Liberal Democrats are rightly happy with their gains in this year’s local election. It was a great night for both them and the Greens. There is clear signs the public have changed their mind on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. The Liberal Democrats made gains in every region of the country, from Brexit heartlands like Sunderland to liberal heartlands down south. The Lib Dems are making a resurgence in British Politics and should this success carry on – they could become a big player in future elections. The party stance is clear on Brexit and they have won in Leave Councils – is this the evidence people are longing for that the public divide is swinging towards the opinion that we should remain in the European Union?

Jeremy Corbyn Must Back the Kyle/Wilson Amendment

Labour MP’s Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson may just have handed the government an answer as to break the Brexit deadlock. Their amendment (which proposes that MP’s support Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement on the condition that it is then put to a public vote) has been growing in popularity recently, gaining the backing of several senior MP’s; most notably John McDonnell who endorsed it as a  possible “solution” to the Brexit stalemate.

The proposed amendment has a clear aim: to break the Brexit impasse by delivering a legally binding answer to the Brexit question; one which has the support of both Parliament and the people in what Peter Kyle describes as a “double lock”.

The Brexit checkmate, which has driven Britain to the brink of a No-Deal crisis, needs to be resolved as soon as possible. The only way it is going to be resolved, however, is through compromise and unity. Both Labour and the Conservatives have opposed each other every step of the way during the negotiation period and for far too long have been fighting internal battles rather than dealing with the crisis cooperatively.

In times of crisis, it is the duty of government to come together in the national interest. The Kyle/Wilson amendment offers them the chance to do just that.

It’s not perfect, it is a compromise. Corbyn and May must meet in the middle and seek to forge some sort of consensus.  In an ideal world, Labour would force a general election and deliver a workable Brexit. May would see her deal pass through the Commons with the support of the ERG. However, neither of these outcomes seems remotely possible; and Brexit Britain is far from ideal.

Perhaps this is the one admirable quality of the newly founded Independent Group: they recognise that Brexit is a unique moment in British political history and one which requires cooperation in place of division.   

Many Labour members (myself included) have been rightfully sceptical of the division and hostility which would accompany a second referendum, but the Kyle/Wilson amendment would not be a simple re-run of the 2016 referendum.

It is different in a number of crucial ways. As opposed the 2016 vote, the outcome of this “yes” or “no” vote will be clear and concise and have immediate ramifications; as opposed to a freestanding second referendum, the answer to which would provide more questions than it would answers. It is not a simple re-run where the first vote is disregarded; it is a reaction to two years of parliamentary proceedings which have left us with a clear choice: Theresa May’s deal or a No-Deal. There is no majority for either of these things, so the choice must be given back to the people.

Most importantly, the Kyle/Wilson amendment, if given Labour backing, has a significantly higher chance of passing through the Commons than a simple 2016 re-do would have.

The amendment offers Corbyn a lifeline at a time of crisis. Not only does this option give him the chance to appease MP’s and younger members campaigning for a People’s Vote, he also has the chance to reverse the worrying trend which has seen many Labour MP’s resign from the party. For right or wrong, Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance has been greatly criticised by certain groups of MP’s and by backing the Kyle/Wilson amendment, Corbyn can stem the flow of defectors which threatens to engulf him and the party into a full-blown crisis.

Importantly, the amendment offers Corbyn the chance to do all this while simultaneously avoiding casting Labour as the “Remain” party and the Tories as the “Brexit Party”. This would have no doubt lost him many voters. As reports have suggested, the motion has the support of many senior Tories and, should it pass, May too would be required to support a second vote.

The Kyle/Wilson agreement is unique in that it is a gamble for both May and Corbyn. They would be isolating minorities for the greater good. In accepting it they would be going against significant groupings in their respective parties – the ERG in the case of May and the Labour Brexiteers for Corbyn.

In this time of national crisis, the Kyle/Wilson amendment seems the least terrible option.

With little over a month remaining, we really are down to the wire. Labour must put their weight behind this motion and give the British people a chance to prevent Britain from crashing out of the EU without a deal.

London Knife Crime Desperately Needs A Solution

 

Nestled in between Peckham and Brixton, the South London district of Camberwell was a prime recipient of the wave of knife crime that swept the capital in 2018. 2019 was supposed to be different. A fresh beginning, a year of opportunities to replace a year of deprivation. But, just 4 hours into New Year’s Day, that dream was shattered. A young mother, Charlotte Huggins, became London’s first casualty of the calendar as she was fatally stabbed in her Camberwell home – with the second murder coming 2 hours after. A wave of fear has gripped the borough – and London as a whole. Strained police budgets and an absence of economic opportunities have strengthened the power of the ganglands, yet London’s knife crime trauma runs deeper than just the terror of the gang elders. And with a scarcity of solutions, escalation seems the only outcome.

22 days. Over the entirety of 2018, Earth’s 4th wealthiest city could manage a maximum of 22 days without a fatal or serious injury due to knife crime. A battle is raging between law enforcement and the criminal underworld; and with metal detector arches being introduced to Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in its history, victory is swaying in favour of the latter. 450 offences were gang-related; yet whilst these organised criminal rings often shoulder the criticism for London’s bloodshed, they account for only 25% of total knife crime offences. The problem must run deeper.

 

Camberwell itself epitomises the struggle of London’s poor; as the capital races ahead in finance and technology, with rocketing salaries for skilled graduates elevating central London to the upper echelons of global wealth, the remainder of the capital has been left devoid of opportunity. In Croydon, a nearby South London district, the Deputy Mayor of Policing and Crime Sophie Linden analysed 60 cases of murder and serious injury over the past year. Not one of them had been in mainstream education. The rungs of the social ladder have broken; isolated from the economic opportunities that lie in London’s hotbed of prosperity, hope is fading away. Without education, the possibility of climbing the income ladder is negligible. And when the outlook for the future is dominated by a cash-strapped household struggling to make ends meet, the allure of quick cash through illicit activities becomes ever more enticing. People are not choosing the illegal economy – they are being forced into it by the lack of opportunities surrounding them.

And the gangs have been quick to pounce on such opportunities. During a Brixton debate on youth violence, it emerged that gang members were waiting in chicken shops, offering free chicken to lure young individuals into the criminal underworld. For children with strong educational and earnings prospects the need for criminality to achieve their desired lifestyle is minimal; yet in a world devoid of hope and opportunity, the allure is difficult to refuse.

And mirroring this lack of hope is the hopelessness of government’s response, epitomised by Unity FC. Brandon Estate’s youth football club has been a beacon of ambition for budding footballers, providing a productive use of their time to work towards a future goal. But they still have to train at the park because of the council charge £60 an hour for astroturf pitches. The closure of 80 London youth clubs since 2010 epitomises the inherent failure of the cash-strapped council to nurture opportunities for the people. To solve this problem, money will be needed – and with a scarcity of private actors working for the common good, the Treasury will have to open its purse.

And the struggle of councils to contain the violence has been intensified by their declining presence. Camberwell now has just 2 policemen on day-to-day patrols and as a result, a power vacuum has emerged that the gangs are all too eager to fill. Home Officer Adviser Elena Noel cites the “wall of silence” as one of the greatest challenges law enforcement now faces – as the gangs strengthen their stranglehold on local communities, any cooperation with the police is a risk deemed too great to take. This has choked the ability of the police, with murder crime solving rates dropping from 90% to just over 50%. The gangs are winning. The absence of the top tier of the local hierarchy has cultivated a ‘kill or be killed’ attitude, with ever increasing numbers of youths carrying knives for protection. Greater police presence is essential to maintain the feeling of safety and prevent the gangs from growing ever more powerful in the community hierarchy.

Sadly, politics does not rule in favour of the poor. Jeremy Hunt’s desire for a post-Brexit economy modelled on low-tax Singapore symbolises the attitude of government; improve the national economy with disregard for the people, prioritising GDP figures over livelihoods. Serious investment in both education and extra-curricular activities is essential for providing hope; the key ingredient that can keep children from the prying reach of the gang elders, and lead them higher up the social ladder.

Social immobility is strong, but not immovable. And tackling crime with stop-searches only adds to the magnitude of the problem. Take a child and input family instability, fear, low educational quality and low future earning potential – is it any wonder they will lead a life of criminality? The friendship, brotherhood and cash benefits far outweigh any other opportunities on their horizon; this life may not be a choice, but an inescapable fate.

Knife crime is on the rise, but it is merely a statistic that represents the deeper problem at the heart of the capital. The towering skyscrapers and towering high-rise council blocks symbolise two different worlds inside London, a structural problem that has left the poor in a state of emergency. Whilst increasing police presence will stem the fear that grips the city, tackling the root of the problem – opportunities – is the only long-term solution. If not, expect 2019 to be a bloodier year than ever before.

Boris Johnson Cleared Of Breaking Party Rules Over Burka Comments

 

Conservative Party MP and ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been cleared by a party disciplinary panel following comments he made in a column for the Telegraph in August regarding Burkas.

The disciplinary panel, which was led by an independent investigator, was tasked with deciding whether the numerous complaints weighed against the MP over his views and comments on Islam, and more specifically, female Muslim headwear, was serious enough to warrant disciplinary action.

Complaints were filed against Johnson by several of his fellow party members, including Lord Sheikh, the founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum, and one of the only Muslim members of the House of Lords.

However, at the time, a number of other public figures came to Johnson’s aid, including Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson, who wrote a letter to the Times saying he should only ‘apologise for a bad joke’.

The complaints came following a column made in The Daily Telegraph by Johnson in response to a law passed in Denmark that banned Burkas in August, that compared Muslim women wearing the Burka to ‘Bank Robbers’, and calls the headwear ‘Oppressive and ridiculous’

Johnson likened women wearing Burkas to ‘letterboxes’, mentioned that it was perfectly ok for the MP to demand women take off the headwear to address him in a medical setting and that schools and Universities should treat women coming to their facilities in a Burka to someone coming ‘dressed as a bank robber’.

The Conservative Party Code of Conduct, Displayed on their official website, mentions that MPs cannot use their positions to bully, abuse or unlawfully discriminate against others. However, the panel decided that this rule does not override Johnson’s rights to express his opinions in the newspaper, despite regarding the language in the article as ‘provocative’, but also adding that it was ‘unwise’ to censor his language or his use of ‘satire’ to emphasise his views.

Many have accused Johnson’s article of giving legitimate support for extreme Islamophobic views, in a term known as ‘dog-whistling’ to the Far-right. Lady Sayeeda Warsi, a member of the House of Lords, tweeted in August that Johnson’s article served as a ‘dog-whistle’ to Islamophobic elements in the Conservative party and that the party wasn’t doing enough to deal with it.

Recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that hate crime rates have continued to increase exponentially in recent years and have doubled since 2012 up to almost 95,000 offences between 2017 and early 2018, and the percentage change in hate crimes based on religion has increased by 40% between 2016 and 2017.

One explanation for this rise could be the slow creep of far-right intolerance into mainstream party politics, catalysed by the EU referendum and resulting discourse on immigration. Many in mainstream political parties may have taken the opportunity to introduce adherence to their more radical voters through disguised conversation on what the ‘British Identity’ is. The recent panel findings have shown that the ‘guardians of British civility’ in the Conservative party are more than complacent in allowing ‘dog-whistling’ to the far-right by their more outspoken members.

 

DUP Dismisses Claims of Planning to Topple the Government with Labour

Sammy Wilson, DUP MP, has made it clear that his party are not in talks with the Labour Party – regarding a potential ‘vote of no confidence’ in the House of Commons.

These claims counter reports that suggest both parties are searching for ‘common ground’ to topple the Conservative Government. It was reported that a ‘motion of no confidence’ would be called before Christmas 2018.

Opposition parties have been encouraging the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, to push a vote of no confidence against the Conservative Government. However, the beliefs of one party have remained unclear throughout this political turmoil, but it is now claimed that the DUP will not support the Labour Party.

Mr. Wilson, in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett, said: ‘We don’t need to be in talks with Labour.’

He continued, ‘We have made it quite clear that if the Prime Minister continues to pursue the policy and gets the ability to implement that policy, then we will vote against the Government in a vote of no confidence.’

He concluded, ‘However she has got to get over the first hurdle, and that is to get this agreement accepted by Parliament.’

Labour has been withholding a vote of no confidence, as current rumours suggest that the party will be unable to obtain a majority in the House of Commons. In order to succeed with a motion of no confidence, the Leader of the Opposition will require the support of the majority of the House of Commons.

If successful, there will be a fourteen-day deadline for a motion of confidence to be placed in a new government, if not a general election must be called.

Tory MPs using food banks for photo-opportunities is the height of hypocrisy

With the demand for food banks in the UK rising by 52% following the rollout of the government’s flagship welfare policy, Universal Credit (Trussel Trust, October 2018), it’s clear that they are one of the biggest challenges facing the United Kingdom. The Conservative government’s continued austerity and welfare cuts, coupled with the rising cost of living not being matched with wage growth, has led to the poorest in society not being able to afford basic necessities. Now, in a CCHQ bid to make Tory MPs appear ‘human’, it’s noticeable that a substantial number of MPs (Claire Perry and Dominic Raab being two of the most widely ridiculed MPs to have viral photos of themselves at food banks/collections) are using these systems for photo opportunities.

When my MP, David Rutley (conveniently now effectively the ‘food supplies minister’) posted an image on his social media feeds of him taking a picture with a food bank collection station in Macclesfield’s Tesco supermarket, it only went to further prove what the Tories are up to. Following the damning report into the effects of the governments policies in the U.K. by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, which found that the government was ‘causing misery’ and that ministers were ‘in denial’ about this, CCHQ have apparently told MPs that they must have photographs at local food banks and food collections in a bid to make them look like decent human beings, perhaps as a possible pre-election push to win over those who feel that the Tories truly are inflicting ‘misery’ on the poorest.

The sheer hypocrisy of Tory MPs knows no bounds. It is them that has led to the rise in use (up 13% on last year according to the Trussel trust in March 2018). It is them that have left many of the poorest in society living in ‘misery’. And it is them that will continue to create further poverty unless they are voted out.

The new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, criticised the ‘scathing’ report by the UN Special Rapporteur, arguing that not only was it wrong, but the ‘extraordinary political language’ was ‘inappropriate’ and  ‘discredited a lot of what he was saying’.

However, what Ms Rudd fails to realise is that its the government she serves that has caused this report to be published in the first place due to their horrific policies. That is politics and the fact that the language of a report that said that it was the government’s fault that many were living in poverty only goes to prove that the report’s claim that ‘ministers are in denial’ is more than accurate.

Jeremy Corbyn used PMQs this week to attack the PM on her record on the area, and in a sharp condemnation of the recent actions of Tory MPs such as Claire Perry and Dominic Raab, said that “food banks are not just a photo opportunity for Conservative MPs, all of whom supported the cuts in benefits that have led to the poverty in this country.” The Prime Minister’s response? Denying the report by the UN Rapporteur and refusing to halt Universal Credit. In pointing out the hypocrisy of the Conservative MPs, he drew the exact response that he wanted from Theresa May, proving that the ‘extraordinary political language’ of the UN report’s claim that the ministers were in denial is true.

Following on from her staunch denial of the UN report’s validity, the Prime Minister then had the cheek to once again blame Labour for the problems, saying that the Tories have had to make difficult decisions due to ‘Labour’s poor control of the countries finances’. To blame the Global financial crash for her austerity plans is a disgrace.

This Christmas, remember the families that are suffering as a result of the Tories austerity while you look at pictures of smiling Tory MPs laughing away and having a great time while getting a picture at a food bank. Remember the ‘misery’, a word so often repeated in this article due to the emotion it brings out, that this government has instilled on those who desperately need help as the Tory MPs live it up in their magnificent mansions and cosy cottages. Remember that there are people that are relying on food banks to feed them due to the barbaric Universal Credit system as the Tories tuck into their expensive Christmas meals that will no doubt be claimed back via their expenses, out of the taxpayers’ purse. Because while those who actually rely on food banks are suffering, the Tory ministers are ‘in denial’ as they live out their fancy, taxpayer-funded, luxury lives. Because this Government, and indeed, the Conservative Party on the whole, truly are for the elite, rich few, and most certainly not the many in this country that suffer at the hands of their cruel and callous policies.

Labour will call for a Vote of No Confidence if May loses Brexit vote

Sunday 2nd December

Sir Keir Stammer has called for a Vote of No Confidence if May loses her vote in the House of Commons on the EU withdrawal agreement. In an interview with Sky News this morning, the Shadow Brexit Secretary outlined the technicalities of the Fixed Term Parliament Act. Under the Act, a general election is called precisely every 5 years, however if a Government loses a vote of no confidence it has 14 days to pass a second motion, otherwise Parliament is dissolved and an election is called.

Although, it looks unlikely that Mrs May will get her Brexit deal through parliament, she is still well supported amongst Tory MP’s, as they fear Jeremy Corbyn being elected into Government. This is evidenced in the coup that was organised by the ERG, which failed to materialise.

The Legal Advice Row

Mrs May, may quite have bigger things to worry about, however. Around a month ago, parliament passed a motion which would have seen the government have to reveal the legal advice that the Attorney General had provided Mrs May and Co. on Brexit.

It has since been confirmed though, that Geofrrey Cox will only reveal redacted and amended statements.

This has drawn severe criticism from various political parties and actors, including the DUP, who have accused Mrs May of having something to hide. Keir Stammer added that not publishing the legal advice in full, would mean that Labour would have no option but to start proceedings for contempt of parliament.

Analysis by Editor – Seb Chromiak

Labour tacticians must be very careful when calling a Vote of No Confidence, it was one thing undermining a crippled Government, but it is another if she survives the vote.

What Labour risk is strengthening Mrs May at the helm, as there is no majority for a VONC. No doubt, a crisis of some sorts is on the horizon for this Tory government if they lose the Brexit vote. Mrs May has been under intense scrutiny for weeks now, calling a VONC would give an opportunity to the Main Stream Media to shift the attention onto Jeremy Corbyn. This would undermine the cunning work his party has done.

Call me cautious, but on Brexit, Labour have played the game fantastically well, and in this very paper, we have on many occasions called for Jeremy to finally put the Tory’s to the sword.

Now, may not be the time.

Matt Hancock Accused Of Breaking Ministerial Code

The Labour Party has written to Theresa May demanding an investigation after it has been revealed Health Secretary Matt Hancock has potentially broken ministerial code. The Conservative MP has been representing West Suffolk since 2010 and was appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in 2018. Matt Hancock has been accused of breaking ministerial code by endorsing a private healthcare company.

An interview with the MP of West Suffolk appeared in the Evening Standard which also had financial support from a firm called Babylon. The article was published on Tuesday and featured the Babylon logo and stated that the firm was the newspaper’s partner.

Hancock has shown admiration for the company’s GP at Hand app, which allows users to have visual consultations with doctors via their smartphone. He was quoted “this technology allows more resources for the people visiting GPs directly”.

Justin Madders MP, Shadow Health Minister has stated that Hancock repeatedly promoted the app and the company and has therefore breached a vital section of the Ministerial code. He has been accused of breaching sections 7.12 and 7.13 of the ministerial code. The code states that ministers should not ‘normally accept invitations to act as patrons of, or otherwise offer support to, pressure groups, or organisations dependent in whole or in part on government funding’.

A final comment- From Editor- Heidi Boahen

As an MP, it is his duty to represent his constituency and as a Secretary for Health and Social Care, it is Hancock’s duty to not only do what is best for his department but to also follow Miniserial codes by all means.

It has been stated that Matt Hancock was not aware that Babylon would sponsor the article which could be a possibility as a representative from the Evening Standard has stated that Matt Hancock was approached for an interview, and he agreed. However, this issue requires further investigation by the Prime Minister. If the Department of Health and Social Care is working towards a tech ecosystem within the NHS then this has to be done in such a way that it follows guidelines and codes.