Dido harding

Should Dido Harding really run NHS England?

Dido Harding’s campaign to become the next boss of the NHS in England took a high-profile turn this weekend. ‘Sources close to Dido Harding’ (perhaps ones occupying the same pair of shoes) briefed the Sunday Times about the Conservative peer and ex-boss of the £37 billion Test and Trace scheme pitch as a candidate. (If appointed, the noble Baroness will reportedly resign from the Conservative party and take an indefinite leave of absence from the House of Lords.) Apparently, the health world’s favourite noble Baroness will end England’s reliance on foreign doctors and nurses if she replaces Sir Simon Stevens as the next head of NHS England. This is an interesting and

Should Dido Harding end up running the NHS?

In England, the NHS is run by an organisation with an identity crisis. It calls itself NHS England, but that’s just self-promotional branding. In law, it is the NHS Commissioning Board, created by Andrew Lansley’s controversial 2012 reforms which gave the NHS a high level of autonomy from direct government control. The NHS Commissioning Board was first run by ex-Communist Sir David Nicholson; then by a former Labour councillor and ex-New Labour special advisor Sir Simon Stevens, who steps down at the end of July. Based on that trajectory, a cynical observer might suggest that in the distant future even a former Liberal Democrat could one day get the job.

Sunday shows round-up: Brandon Lewis defends refusal to extend free school meals

Brandon Lewis – Our position on free school meals ‘is the right one’ Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend the provision of free school meals over the school holidays has seen the government facing considerable criticism, with Labour forcing a vote on the issue in the House of Commons last Wednesday, which was defeated by 61 votes. A rift has even developed within the Conservative party itself, with Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, writing in the Spectator on the conservative case for the extension. Sophy Ridge asked the Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis why the government was holding out against the campaign: BL: I think