-- Advertisement --

Independent Group endorsed by right-wing Think Tank who want to privatise the NHS

-- Advertisement --

Stay in touch!

Sign up to be updated with Evolve's latest stories, and for opportunities to get involved.

The new Parliamentary breakaway group which now consists of 8 former Labour MPs and 3 ex-Tories, The Independent Group, has gained the endorsement of two neoliberal, pro-privatisation ThinkTanks – one of which has openly lobbied for the NHS to be fully privatised.

Writing on Twitter, the Associate Director of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), Kate Andrews, declared her delight at rumours that the Independent Group’s new policy platform could include support the privatisation of public services and opposition to increased tax rates for people earning above £150,000.

Reporting on an interview with Independent Group MP, Chris Leslie – in which he slammed Labour’s support for renationalising the Railways and Royal MailBuzzFeed News reporter, Alex Wickham, wrote that the Independent Group’s “policy platform” appeared to be “coming together“, adding:

“After [Anna] Soubry backs austerity and Osborne cuts, Chris Leslie says his new group opposes renationalisation, is against increasing the top rate of tax to 50% and wouldn’t abolish tuition fees…”

Responding to Wickham’s tweet outlining the potential right-wing policy platform, the IEA’s Kate Andrews wrote:

“This sounds GREAT.”

Also responding to Wickham’s report, Matt Kilcoyne, the Head of Communications for the Adam Smith Institute – a thinktank who describe themselves as the “UK’s leading neoliberal think tank” – also praised the Independent Group’s potential future policies, tweeting:

“Thanks to the new TIG for listening to the policies. A popular neoliberal prospectus for modern Britain!”


As Evolve have previously reported:

“The IEA are a well-known free-market neoliberal thinktank who have long argued in favour of privatising the NHS.

The IEA’s Head of Health and Welfare policy, Kristian Niemietz, has also made absolutely no secret of the Institute’s desire to fully abolish and privatise the NHS, and can be regularly found on Twitter arguing firmly in favour of more private sector involvement.”

Furthermore, since 1977, The Adam Smith Institute have also relentlessly promoted a similar right-wing Thatcherite, pro-privatisation, anti-worker, ideology.

Both organisations are also in favour of lowering taxes for the rich, and selling off other essential public services to private companies so they can profit from them.

Furthermore, both thinktanks are extremely reluctant to declare who funds them, with the both the IEA and the ASI ranking “E” for transparency.

This ranking is based on the fact that both groups refuse to display funding information on their website, refuse to name who their donors are, as well as staunchly refusing to declare the individual amounts that are donated to them.

Furthermore, out of the two, only the IEA declare their total income – receiving a total of £1,913,000 in 2017 – with the ASI even steadfastly refusing declare this.

The IEA is known to have received funding from British American Tobacco and has been accused of “offering donors access to government ministers and civil servants“.

The two endorsements will now severely increase pressure on the Independent Group to finally announce a policy platform, with many already beginning to worry that the new breakaway party will simply become the ‘anti-Brexit Conservative Party’, standing on a pro-privatisation, anti-worker, pro-greed policy platform.

-- Advertisement --

Evolve needs your help more than ever!

We rely on the generosity of our readers to help fund the majority of our work - but we need a little more to make ends meet and enable us to grow.

If we can reach 1,000 regular subscribers, we will become entirely financially sustainable - and we'll also have a little extra so we can build upwards and outwards to make our work have an even bigger impact.

In the last month alone, our work on the Environment Bill has helped force a change in the law for the better. And, since Evolve was founded, our uniquely viral style of journalism has repeatedly put the establishment on the back foot and helped force genuinely positive progression.

But we want to do far more - and we need your help to do it.

The best way you can help us is by becoming a Monthly or Annual subscriber. This kind of regular income allows us to better plan for the future - firstly so we can pay the bills, and then so we can set aside funds and time to work on extra projects.

However, if you can't commit to a regular payment, one-off donations - no matter how small - also make a big difference to us, and we genuinely make the most of every single penny.

So, if you appreciate the work that Evolve does and you want to see us make an even bigger impact on the world, please think about contributing to our work in whatever way you possibly can.

Tom D. Rogers

Co-Founder, Contributing Editor

Jess Miller

Co-Founder, Contributing Editor

Subscriber-Only Comments