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In  a last minute appeal to MPs not to wreck his plans for a major shake-up of the NHS, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary today said that the government wanted to reduce the amount of money spent on ‘back-room operations’ and put massive amounts of cash into the hands of MPs instead.

Lansley said the reforms will mean money is taken away from bureaucrats and will be transferred to consortia of MPs, who will be able to negotiate directly with ‘any willing provider’:

Hopefully, by cutting the NHS budget and allowing private health companies to run things instead, MPs will be rewarded with a glut of lucrative directorships, consultancies and other gilt-edged positions.

The Health Secretary believes the new structure will cut red tape and give new financial opportunities to MPs:

It’s all right for the Lords. When you’ve got a title, everyone is falling over themselves to offer you fat commissions. These reforms have been a long time coming.

The Tories’ coalition allies, the Liberal Democrats, had also raised doubts about the shake-up, but decided to back the reforms when they were reassured they could cash in on the bonanza by moonlighting too.