UK

Jeremy Hunt In Line For £15m Windfall From Sale Of Business Amid NHS Crisis

Hunt 'incredibly proud to have set up a successful business'.

16/01/2017 11:35 GMT

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt could be set to pocket more than £15 million from the sale of his education company as the NHS plunges into a full-blown crisis.

Hunt’s firm Hotcourses, a listings provider, is reportedly nearing a sale for up to £35 million, according to Sky News.

The cabinet minister holds 48% of the company he co-founded, although he is not thought to play an active part in its day-to-day operation.

The timing of the potential multimillion-pound windfall comes during a difficult period for Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been accused of underfunding the NHS.

Toby Melville / Reuters
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt could pocket more than £15 million from the sale of his education company

Earlier this month, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens told MPs it is “stretching it” to say the health service received more money than it asked for.

The NHS Confederation, which represents managers across England, last week said it was time the Government accepted “limited investment” has “consequences”.

The Royal College of Physicians has also sounded the alarm bell, warning that vital services are “struggling or failing to cope”,  fuelling fears that Hunt has lost control of the situation.

The Department of Health said it did not know who was dealing with Hunt’s personal business empire.

Reuters
A junior doctor wears a mask baring Hunt's face during a junior doctors strike last year

Hunt’s £15 million-plus paycheque will also sit uneasily with May pledge to crack down on excessive executive pay.

In July, May said: “There is an irrational, unhealthy and growing gap between what  these companies pay their workers and what they pay their bosses.”

On the news of the potential deal, Hunt is reported to have said: “I am incredibly proud to have set up a successful business, even prouder of the current Hotcourses team who have taken it from strength to strength, and intend to use a significant proportion of the proceeds to campaign for causes I believe in when I eventually leave frontline politics.”