Alan Milburn

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Person.png Alan Milburn   Powerbase SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Tow Law, County Durham, England
Alma materLancaster University

Employment.png Minister for the Cabinet Office Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
8 September 2004 - 6 May 2005
Succeeded byJohn Hutton

Employment.png Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
8 September 2004 - 6 May 2005
Succeeded byJohn Hutton

Employment.png Secretary of State for Health Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
11 October 1999 - 13 June 2003
Preceded byFrank Dobson
Succeeded byJohn Reid

Employment.png Chief Secretary to the Treasury Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
23 December 1998 - 11 October 1999
Preceded byStephen Byers
Succeeded byAndrew Smith

Employment.png Member of Parliament for Darlington

In office
10 April 1992 - 12 April 2010
Preceded byMichael Fallon

Alan Milburn is a Labour MP for Darlington.[1]

Anti-obesity initiatives

In May 2007 Milburn became an advisor to Pepsico one of the organisations involved in Business4Life the business consortium behind the Department of Health's Change4Life anti-obesity initiative. [2] Pepsico and its subsidiary Walkers Crisps are clients of Freud Communications. Freud Communications were hired by the Department of Health to run its anti-obesity campaign.[3]

In December 2003, six months after leaving the post of UK Health Secretary, Milburn made a speech at Magdalen college Oxford at the Oxford Vision 2020 Conference in which he stated," Specifically an ultimatum needs to be placed before the (food) industry that unless it voluntarily cuts fat, sugar and salt in food within a specified time frame then tough regulatory action will be taken to ensure that it does so. The summit could also discuss how to make greater choice over healthier food available in local communities and local schools.In the meantime I hope Ministers will take swift action to remove fast food, soft drink and confectionery machines from all schools." [4]

PFI initiatives

During his time as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Health, Milburn was instrumental in driving forward the Government's policy of PFI initiatives in the health service. [5] During his time at the Treasury in 1999 Milburn stated

"The Government's commitment to partnership between the public and private sector has never been greater. The Government's new guidelines will make PFI work more effectively and more fairly. This will help deliver higher levels of investment to modernise Britain's key public services such as the NHS. By providing a platform of certainty, the new guidance will help the PFI continue to grow. Value for money deals go hand in hand with the key test of genuine risk transfer achieved under PFI contracts. This clarity of approach will enable the revised guidance to work in practice." [6]

While in 2007 as Secretary of State for Health Milburn stated

"We plan to ... remove the Secretary of State's powers of direction over NHS Foundation Trusts. Instead of being line managed by the Department of Health, they will be held to account through agreements and cash for performance contracts... The expectation must be that the greater freedoms that NHS Foundation Trusts will enjoy will help them exceed national performance targets but that will be a matter for local not national negotiation. Those that perform well will benefit from the system of payment by results and patient choice that we announced in Delivering the NHS Plan."[7]

Milburn is currently on the advisory board of Bridgepoint Capital. [8] He appears to have joined them in January 2007. Bridgepoint is a venture capital firm heavily involved in financing private health care firms moving into the NHS. Milburn previously worked as an advisor to Bridgepoint between March and September 2004.[9]

Scanner scandal

In 2005 the Labour Party were accused of trying to gag one of its own MPs who strongly criticised a £90 million deal between the NHS and a private health company linked to Milburn.

Kevan Jones, the MP for North Durham, revealed that patients from his constituency were being sent 20 miles for private MRI scans, even though their own local hospital had a machine standing idle. Jones had spoken out in support of John Saxby, the chief executive of the University Hospital of North Durham, who complained about the purchase of scans from Alliance Medical, while his own NHS scanner was "considerably under-employed".

Alliance Medical was owned by Bridgepoint and the £90 million scanner deal was signed while Milburn was working for Bridgepoint. The contract for the scanner was announced by John Hutton, the then health minister who is a friend of Milburn.

According to press reports Jones' comments provoked a telephone call to the MP from a Labour Party official demanding an explanation and warning him that they should not be repeated. Jones himself refused to confirm the claim. [10]






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  1. They Work For You, Alan Milburn MP, accessed 28 November 2008.
  2. Business4Life Home page, Accessed December 9 2008
  3. Matt Cartmel, Freud Lands Anti-obesity brief,Brand Republic, July 31 2008, Accessed December 9 2008
  4. Oxford Health Alliance Keynote speech by Alan Milburn December 2003, Accessed December 21 2008
  5. HM Treasury MORE PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE (PFI) DEALS EXPECTED June 24 1999, Accessed December 9 2008
  6. HM Treasury MORE PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE (PFI) DEALS EXPECTED June 24 1999, Accessed December 9 2008
  7. Department of Health Speeches,February 7 2007, Accessed December 9 2008
  8. Bridgepoint Capital Advisory Board, Accessed December 9 2008
  9. They work for you Members listing May 2004, Accessed December 9 2008
  10. Hennessy, Patrick Labour orders MP to keep quiet over Milburn scan deal Telegraph March 26 2005, Accessed December 9 2008
  11. House of Commons Register of Members interests, Accessed December 21 2008
  12. Bridgepoint Capital Advisory Board, Accessed December 21 2008
  13. Smithers, Rebecca, "Beyoncé, Britney ... Milburn? Ex-minister takes Pepsi challenge," Guardian, 30 May 2007, accessed 28 November 2008.
  14. Walker, Tim, "Milburn in the money," Telegraph, 30 April 2008, accessed 28 November 2008.
  15. Swaine, Jon, "MPs could face ban on second jobs," Telegraph, 24 July 2008, accessed 28 November 2008.
  16. Swaine, Jon, "MPs could face ban on second jobs," Telegraph, 24 July 2008, accessed 28 November 2008.