PP changes tack, dismissing Health Minister Mato’s estranged husband

Gürtel official suspect Jesús Sepúlveda was a paid advisor for the party

The secretary general of the ruling Popular Party, María Dolores de Cospedal, on Monday said that Jesús Sepúlveda, the estranged husband of Health Minister Ana Mato and a suspect in the Gürtel kickbacks-for contracts probe, no longer works for the party.

“Mr Sepúlveda no longer provides services for the PP as of today,” De Cospedal told a news conference at the party’s Madrid headquarters.

The move appears to mark a shift in the line taken by the center-right party. Last week, PP official Carlos Floriano said that as an “employee” of the party, the group saw no need to dismiss Sepúlveda, the former mayor of the upscale Madrid dormitory town of Pozuelo de Alarcón, who stood down in 2009 after being named as a suspect in the Gürtel case.

Sepúlveda was receiving a salary from the PP as an internal advisor working from home. A police report in January 2011 alleged that Sepúlveda and his family had received free trips and gifts from the ringleader of Gürtel, Francisco Correa.

Mato has resisted opposition calls for her to resign as health minister, insisting that she did not accept gifts and free travel from the Gürtel ring as the police believe was the case in the period 2000-2004.


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