University boss will now be NHS privatiser-in-chief

Submitted by Matthew on 26 October, 2011 - 2:07

Malcolm Grant, the Provost of University College London, has been nominated by health secretary Andrew Lansley to head the new NHS commissioning board responsible for implementing the Tories’ health “reforms”.

So Grant, who has distinguished himself attacking students and workers at UCL, will now also be responsible for dismantling the NHS.

He will remain “full time” head of UCL, on a salary well above £300,000 even after taking a 10 percent pay cut. (He is the highest paid university head in Britain.)

After a hard fought campaign by UCL cleaners and their academic and student supporters, Grant promised more than a year ago to pay the cleaners the London living wage — but is now stalling on implementation, while continuing to outsource UCL cleaning work.

The night Solidarity went to press (25 October), the Student Union council of UCL was due to discuss an emergency motion (seconded by NCAFC national committee and NUS executive member Michael Chessum). It comments:

“…the Provost has consistently lobbied for a lifting of the tuition fee cap… the Provost was at the centre of a controversy about the London Living Wage... he described it as a “luxury” that could not be afforded… in taking up the position of NHS Commissioning Board Chair, Malcolm Grant is complicit in the carving up of the NHS as a public service… Grant has developed a track record of actively undermining public services…”

UCL student activists hope to hold a union general meeting in the next couple of weeks to declare no confidence in Grant.

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