Call for inquiry over GSCC bias claims

    An investigation into the selection of the General Social Care
    Council board members has been demanded after more than a third of
    appointees were revealed to be Labour Party activists,
    writes David Brown.

    Five of the 14 members of the GSCC, which will be responsible
    for the registration and regulation of all social care sector
    staff, have declared political activity on behalf of the Labour
    Party within the last five years. None of the members are active
    members of the Conservative or Liberal Democrat parties.

    In addition, the only representative of independent care
    providers, Bill McClimont, is not politically active but has close
    links to the wife of a Labour minister.

    McClimont chairs the UK Care Homes Association, whose president
    is Lucianne Sawyer, wife of environment minister Michael Meacher.
    Sawyer has been appointed to the National Care Standards
    Commission, but does not declare herself to be a Labour Party

    Philip Hammond, Conservative health and social services
    spokesperson, has asked the Commissioner for Public Appointments
    Dame Rennie Fritchie for an investigation into the

    “I am very surprised by the composition of members on the GSCC,”
    said Hammond. “It is important for the GSCC to be seen as
    independent of the government, and that it will take the path that
    is right for social care and not the needs of the government.”

    National Care Homes Association chief executive Sheila Scott and
    chairperson Nadra Ahmed were rejected. They had declared their
    political activity with the Conservative Party.

    Scott said: “Having sat on the advisory committee for the
    setting up of the GSCC, I was disappointed not to have even reached
    the interview stage.”

    Four of her fellow members of the advisory committee have been
    appointed to the council, including two Labour Party activists and

    A department of health spokesperson said there were about 250
    applications and that all appointments had been made in accordance
    with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ guidelines.
    “Political activity was not taken into account at any stage of the
    selection process,” they added.





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