A senior Conservative MP’s links to a private health company have prompted a fresh row over Tory leader David Cameron’s commitment to the NHS.

David Heathcoat-Amory, MP for Wells and a former Treasury minister, has registered a payment of £1,671.08 and £86.17 of health benefits from Western Provident Association.

The MP has defended the £20,000 a year he is paid as a non-executive director for the firm, which provides private medical insurance.

He said: “The insight I receive from that helps me during health-related debates in Parliament, and being part of the world of work and commerce helps me in scrutinising other parliamentary bills.”

The details have been included in the House of Commons register of interests, in which several other Tory MPs have declared links to private health firms.

Shadow health minister Mark Simmonds accepted a trip from Bupa UK to the US, and Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East, registered shares in Vital Imaging, a private screening company.

Frank Field, Labour’s former social security minister, has revealed two payments of £1,030 from Medicash, which sells private health cover.