Former UK PM Mr Cameron Grilled by British Inquiry Committee
The Guardian reported that the scale of the former UK’s Prime Minister’s David Cameron lobbying by text, WhatsApp, email and phone calls, on behalf of
The Guardian reported that the scale of the former UK’s Prime Minister’s David Cameron lobbying by text, WhatsApp, email and phone calls, on behalf of Greensill Capital was revealed by Parliament’s Treasury select committee. Mr Cameron lobbied ministers and senior officials 56 times at the height of the pandemic in an increasingly desperate attempt to beg the government to support a controversial bank he worked for and owned a stake in. In one text message, as panic in the financial markets increased at the beginning of the pandemic, Mr Cameron said he was riding to the rescue … with my new friend Lex Greensill. In other calls and emails over a four-month lobbying campaign, he told ministers and their adviser that the Treasury’s failure to provide financial support to Greensill was “nuts” and “bonkers”. Cameron often signed off the messages “Dc”
Mr Cameron’s lobbying to have Greensill included the government’s emergency coronavirus loan support scheme extended to the chancellor Mr Rishi Sunak, the Cabinet Office minister Mr Michael Gove, the health secretary Mr Matt Hancock and the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi. He also contacted the economic secretary Mr John Glen, the financial secretary Mr Jesse Norman, deputy governor of the Bank of England Sir Jon Cunliffe and Mr Richard Sharp, who was then adviser to Mr Rishi Sunak and is now chairman of the BBC.
At a select committee hearing on Tuesday, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow and a member of the select committee Ms Rushanara Ali accused Mr Cameron of bringing the position of prime minister into disrepute by his relentless lobbying, which she suggested was motivated by personal greed. She accused Lex Greensill, the bank’s founder, of using a former prime minister, bringing that position into disrepute, to profit. She said “You and Mr Cameron lost sight of what was appropriate behaviour. It is a Ponzi scheme, frankly it smacks of fraudulent behaviour.”
The revelation of the scale of Mr Cameron’s lobbying in support of Greensill came as the UK’s financial regulator said it is formally investigating the circumstances leading to the bank’s collapse. Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Mr Nikhil Rathi in a letter to the select committee said “Some of the allegations facing Greensill were potentially criminal in nature. We are also cooperating with counterparts in other UK enforcement and regulatory agencies, as well as authorities in a number of overseas jurisdictions.”
Mr Cameron worked for Mr Greensill as a senior adviser and owned a 1% stake in the bank, which was at one point hoping to float at a GBP 5 billion valuation and would have turned the former prime minister into a multimillionaire.