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MP: 'Gagging clauses must not be used'

January 24, 2014 12:27 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the Public Accounts Committee comments on the use of so-called "gagging clauses" when paying off government employees. The Public Accounts Committee said that this is preventing the public from finding out about "serious and systematic failures" in the public sector.

Payments of more than £28.4 million were made between 2010 and 2013, the Public Accounts Committee has revealed. Examples raised during the cross-party committee's inquiry included £225,000 for former Morecambe Bay NHS Trust chief executive Tony Halsall, who stood down amid concerns over baby deaths at Furness General Hospital.

Tim has long campaigned on this issue and last year asked the Government to end to NHS confidentiality deals. Tim wrote to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, and asked him to write to every NHS trust in the country and instruct them to not use these deals.

Tim said: "People do not expect their taxes to be spent on covering up failure. I have pushed and pushed the Government to do more to minimise the use of these gagging clauses. I hope this report will add further weight to our calls to make sure that public officials are not given pay offs and then paid again for their silence."