Bill Morgan

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.
FirstAid.png This article is part of the Health Portal project of Spinwatch.
Bill Morgan is a lobbyist and a former special adviser (policy) to former UK health minister Andrew Lansley. He joined Lansley's office in July 2010, having previously worked as a director for Mandate Communications' specialist health practice. [1] [2]

In September 2012 he left the government, returning to his lobbying career, this time with MHP Communications's specialist health policy and communications consultancy, MHP Health from December 2012.

He is a founding partner of Incisive Health, set up in September 2013[3], with former MHP health team members Mike Birtwistle and Sarah Winstone.[4]

Special adviser to UK health minister

Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the Revolving Door project of Spinwatch.


Morgan and Lansley had already worked together between 2005 and 2007, when Morgan was a Tory adviser working on a wide range of Conservative health policies and assisting the shadow health secretary prepare for parliamentary questions. [5]

Head of Mandate's health practice, Mike Birtwistle blogged on the appointment:

"Personally, I can think of no one better to advise the incoming Secretary of State. Bill has a sharp policy mind, allied to a clear instinct for politics and he is fiercely loyal to his bosses. These talents will be needed as Andrew Lansley seeks to steer the NHS through choppy financial waters whilst also embarking on a major programme of structural and system reform. Civil servants will have to get used to Bill scrutinising their figures and recommendations, but I have no doubt that the end result will be better as a result of it.
Clearly we will be sad to see Bill move on - he has been a great colleague and he will continue to be a good friend. Health Mandate's clients and our team of consultants have obviously benefitted from Bill's insights into the direction of Conservative policy. Now, as he prepares to take up a new role, we look forward to continuing to be at the heart of the major policy debates which will shape the future of the NHS."[6]

Morgan previously worked for two years as a special adviser to the Conservative Party in opposition (2005-07).

Activities

Dealings with private sector

Pro-reform GPs are a key front in the public relations offensive behind UK health minister Lansley's health and social care bill, which is currently going through parliament. Internal emails obtained by Spinwatch revealed that in December 2010 Morgan was supplied with a list of friendly GPs by Kingsley Manning of leading healthcare consultancy firm Tribal Group. Tribal confirmed it was in discussions with some of the GPs on the list about future lucrative contracts. Manning's email to Morgan said:

“Further to our conversation, please find attached a list of GPs you may want to contact with respect to the launch of Consortia Pathfinders; we haven’t briefed them so somebody would need to talk to them before they were exposed to the press.”

Manning initially claimed that Tribal had “no discussions” with Lansley or his department about helping the government sell its bill. He admitted having dealings with Morgan but denied supplying tame GPs for the government’s spin campaign.

“We certainly wouldn’t do that, we are not in the business of acting as a voice piece for the government. There is significant merit in these reforms. But it is not Tribal’s policy to promote [them] on behalf of the government,” he said.
However, when told his email to Morgan had been released under freedom of information legislation, Manning claimed Morgan had requested the list, which he admitted may contain the names of GP pathfinder consortia with whom Tribal is in commercial discussions. Manning also conceded that the government’s campaign had so far failed to persuade most patients, NHS staff and suppliers of the case for reform.[7]

Notes

  1. Public Affairs News People Moves, July 2010, accessed 27 October 2010.
  2. PRCA, Events Calendar
  3. Bill Morgan, LinkedIn, undated, accessed 8 October 2014
  4. Jonathan Tilley MHP breakaway duo launches healthcare agency with Bill Morgan PR Week, 8 October 2013, accessed 25 June 2015.
  5. The coalition special advisers, Civil Service World, (the newspaper for the senior civil service) 7th April 2011, accessed 5 October 2011
  6. Bill Morgan appointed as Special Adviser to Andrew Lansley, MHP blog, 4 June 2010
  7. Michael Gillard, Andy Rowell and Tamasin Cave, Revealed: Government Secretly Uses Doctors to Spin Tribal War for NHS Hearts and Minds (oh! And £80 Billion), Spinwatch, 9 March 2011