GMB call for financial investigation of Coperforma

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GMB, the union for ambulance staff, call on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to investigate the financial health of Sussex Patient Transport Services provider Coperforma following potential uncovered links of a director to offshore tax havens.

John Porter, chairman of Coperforma since 2010, was named in the Panama Papers leak which released millions of documents exposing the offshore holdings of thousands of the world’s richest and most powerful people.  Mr Porter is listed as a shareholder of Pentarn Management Ltd, a company whose jurisdiction is the British Virgin Islands.  John Porter is the son of controversial former conservative leader of Westminster City Council, Shirley Porter, who was involved in the homes for votes scandal.

In addition to this, the largest shareholder of Coperforma is Guernsey registered company, Seabourn Ltd, of which John Porter is a director.

Last week GMB were in dispute with Coperforma due to the growing problems of running the Sussex Patient Transport Service after the second subcontractor, Docklands Medical Services, ceased trading two weeks ago.  This follows on from the collapse and liquidation of VM Langfords in July 2016.

Paul Maloney, GMB Southern Regional Secretary, said “GMB call for an urgent investigation by CQC into the financial health of Coperforma following information that its Chairman could be linked to offshore tax havens.

NHS contractors should not be linked to offshore tax havens, a sprawling secretive industry which the worlds rich and powerful use to hide assets and skirt rules.  CQC must investigate to make sure the directors and shareholders of Coperforma are not involved in the shadowy world of offshore finance and that Guernsey based Seabourn Ltd and British Virgin Islands based Pentarn Management Ltd are above board and legitimate.

Two Coperforma subcontractors have gone under, how many more have to go the same way before an investigation takes place?”