Health Secretary in shock lobbyist snub

Since becoming Health Secretary a few months ago, Andrew Lansley has been a good friend of the corporate lobbyists.

His decision to abolish the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence followed intense lobbying by pharmaceutical firms, while plans to scrap the Food Standards Agency were music to the ears of the junk food industry which was already celebrating his kind offer on future legislation.

So it was a bit of shock this weekend to hear Lansley declare war on the tobacco industry with a proposal to remove all branding from cigarette packets.

Despite the issue kicking around for some time, it is the first time that Lansley has shown any interest.

Has he had a Damascene conversion? Or is he just looking for cover before he announces his next big engagement with corporate lobbyists?

I think we should be told.

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