Jeremy Hunt was Britain's longest serving Health Secretary from September 2012 until July 2018. He is the 29th great-grandson of King Henry I, 4th cousin (once-removed) of the Queen (Elizabeth II), and 5th cousin (once-removed) of the fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. He is also the cousin of Virginia Bottomley. His father was an admiral in the British navy.
When Hunt was appointed as Health Secretary he made much of the claim that his father had been a manager in the NHS. In fact, when Hunt's father retired from the Navy he did became the Chairman of the South West Surrey District Health Authority from 1990 to 1995, then he went on to become chairman of Nuffield Hospitals - a private health care provider established by BUPA (British United Provident Association) - in South West Surrey from 1996 to 2001. The MP for South West Surrey during those years was Virginia Bottomley, who had previously served as the Secretary of State for Health from 1992 to 1995. These were the years of the National Health Service and Community Care Act . Hunt took over from his cousin as MP of South West Surrey in 2005, and at the same time his cousin Virginia received a 'Life Peerage', and went on to gain a directorship at BUPA, and began lobbying in the 'House of Lords' on behalf of private health care providers. Around the same time Jeremy Hunt co-authored a book Direct Democracy calling for the privatisation of the NHS.
In 2015 Jeremy Hunt began imposing a contract on the Junior Doctors . In a nutshell the aim of the contract was to reduce pay and conditions for Junior Doctors. One function of that is to reduce the costs of, and thereby increase the volume of elective surgery that could be carried out at weekends, creating a so-called 7-day NHS . Elective surgery is one of the key areas private health care providers like BUPA are interested in, and is one of the first areas of clinical provision to be opened up to private providers (See NHS Plan 2000 ). Hunt was criticised for cherry-picking evidence relating to the necessity and viability of the so-called 7-day NHS by many people, including Professor Stephen Hawking .
Direct Democracy Hunt states his feelings very clearly:
Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain, so extending to all the choices currently available only to the minority who opt for private provision.