Doctor issues robust denial over council conflict allegations

Zahid Chauhan
A controversy that first saw light on Neil Wilby Media this morning (read in full here), when it was reported that a nationally known health campaigner, Dr Zahid Chauhan MBE, had, according to Liberal Democrats sitting on Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, failed to declare a conflict of interest over a healthcare contract, awarded in March, 2021 for COVID-19 swabbing, has resulted in a second, notably robust, response.
The first, earlier this afternoon, was from Leader of the Council, Cllr Amanda Chadderton, and can be read here. She described the allegations as ‘conspiracy theories’.
Apart from being a well known General Practioner (GP) in the Borough, Dr (or Cllr) Chauhan achieved national prominence during the recent virus pandemic. Until taking up the role of Deputy Mayor, in May this year, he was the OMBC Cabinet Member for Healthcare. The potential conflict arose through his paid officer role with Bardoc Ltd, a long established, well known community not for profit organisation that provides healthcare services across the Greater Manchester Region, most notably in Bury, Bolton and Rochdale.
Dr Chauhan says: “As a public servant I am committed to holding myself to the highest of standards.
“I have always reported any interests and have acted with integrity and in accordance with my duties. I have always sought advice and approval from the Council and it’s officers when required. In respect of the NHS contract for swabbing services, I ensured that any possible conflicts of interest were declared. I was not involved in the Bardoc’s bid for the contract or any decision making in relation to the Council’s awarding of the contract.
“Bardoc is not “my” company as the Liberal Democrats seek to suggest and I did not receive any personal payments in relation to the contract for swabbing services.
“I consider the false allegations made by the Liberal Democrats nothing but an attempt to smear my reputation. I vehemently deny any wrongdoing. The Council has also confirmed it is satisfied by my removal from any decision making process.
“Finally, I am very  proud of all the not-for-profit medical providers who stepped up during the pandemic to keep people safe and get our country through Covid; not driven by profit or gain but because of the call of public service.”
A right of reply has been offered to the Liberal Democrats Leader in Oldham, Cllr Howard Sykes MBE.

Page last updated Wednesday 16th November, 2022 at 1815hrs

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Picture credits: Oldham Labour

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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