National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 am on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns Conservative, Chelmsford 9:00 am, 4th February 2015

On a point of order, Mr Hood. May I seek your guidance, following the point of order by my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset? As you will be aware, some time ago, a bogus list was instigated by a trade union about hon. Members who had allegedly received money from private health companies. My name was on that list, which came as a surprise, because I had never received any money from a health-related company—or any other company, for that matter. However—and this is the problem on which I seek your guidance, Mr Hood— in 2001, when I was a shadow Health Minister, a pharmaceutical company paid for me to attend an oncology conference in Florida to discover more about cutting-edge treatments for cancer patients.

That was 13 years ago, and it was immediately registered in the Register of Members’ Interests. Do I need to declare that as an interest every time I want to speak in this Committee, or does this point of order cover that?  Quite clearly, I have not been financed by a health-related private company, although I attended a useful conference to learn about improvements in cancer care.