April 18, 2018 / 2:39 PM / 3 months ago

Britain's health minister faces investigation over luxury flats purchase

LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s health minister, Jeremy Hunt, is facing an investigation by a parliamentary watchdog over his failure to declare a property investment deal.

Hunt, one of Britain’s wealthiest politicians, apologised last week for failing to initially disclose his interest in a company set up to purchase luxury flats, saying it was an honest administrative mistake.

A spokeswoman for the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards said on Wednesday a formal investigation has begun into why Hunt did not immediately disclose his stake in the firm on parliament’s register of members interests.

Hunt is a key figure in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, charged with finding a long-term funding solution for the National Health Service and is widely viewed as a potential successor when she steps down.

He set up a company in September last year with his wife, which was later used to buy seven flats along the south coast of England. But he did not declare his stake in the company until six months later.

A spokesman for the department for health was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill Editing by Alistair Smout

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