David Cameron: financier Lex Greensill claims to be ‘senior advisor’ to David Cameron, trade show business card | Political news
A scandal-stricken financier claimed he was a “senior adviser” to then Prime Minister David Cameron, according to a business card handed to the Labor Party.
The card suggests Lex Greensill had a government landline number as well as a Downing Street email address.
The government has previously claimed that Mr Greensill’s role was approved “in the normal way”, but not paid for.
The Labor Party said there were “other serious questions about the special access Lex Greensill has been granted to the heart of government” and that a “full, transparent and thorough investigation” is needed.
Sky News has contacted Mr Cameron and the Conservative Party for comments on the business card.
It comes after a cabinet minister told Sky News it was time to ‘move on’ from the row Mr. CameronMr. Greensill’s relationship with Mr. Greensill’s financial services firm.
“I think people watched this. As far as I know, David Cameron hasn’t done anything wrong,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said when asked about the ex-prime minister’s ties to Greensill Capital.
He added: “People looked at his role, people looked at whether or not he may have contacted people, Treasury officials.
“As far as I know it was all over the board, he was largely exonerated and I think we should just move on.”
A watchdog said last week that Mr Cameron, who was in Downing Street from 2010 to 2016, did not break their own lobbying rules trying to get government help for the business.
In addition to seeking funds from a government COVID loan program, Mr Cameron has also reportedly contacted the Bank of England about the business.
Greensill Capital collapsed earlier this month and left Liberty Steel, along with its 5,000 workers in the UK, facing an uncertain future.
Reports that Mr Cameron sent a number of texts to the Chancellor Rishi SunakGreensill Capital’s private phone requesting assistance for Greensill Capital was investigated by Harry Rich, the Registrar of Consulting Lobbyists.
This post was created in legislation passed by Mr Cameron’s own government in 2014.
But, as an employee of Greensill, who has since entered administration, he was not required to register on the register, Rich concluded.
However, Labor is now calling on the standards watchdog to look into the government’s ties to Greensill.
The party wants the Committee for the Standards of Public Life to launch an investigation.
“What is going on with Greensill is getting more and more murky day by day and I think it is obvious that there needs to be an investigation,” Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said on Tuesday.
“There are too many unanswered questions.”
This follows a Sunday Times investigation that found founder Lex Greensill made rich from a government-backed loan program he devised after Mr Cameron gave him access to 11 departments and agencies.
The newspaper reported that the Australian financier had access to the departments while Mr Cameron was Prime Minister so that he could promote a financial product in which he specializes.
The pharmacies prepayment program has allowed banks to quickly reimburse pharmacists for NHS prescriptions, for a fee, before recovering money from the government.
Greensill Capital funded the program.
The Sunday Times said Mr Greensill could not be reached for comment, but said he was heard to deny making large sums under a deal with a pharmacy.
Sky News has contacted Greensill Capital for comment through its directors on several occasions, but has yet to receive a response.
A government spokesperson said: “Lex Greensill acted as a supply chain finance advisor from 2012 to 2015 and as a Crown representative for three years from 2013.
“His appointment was approved in the normal way and he was not paid for either role.”
Sky News has contacted Mr Cameron’s office for comment since the publication of the reports on Greensill Capital, but has not received a response.
Lord Evans, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said in response to Labor’s letter that it is an advisory body and “has no mandate to investigate individual cases” .
However, he added that the committee is currently considering arrangements for transparency and public appointments and would welcome party submissions on the matter.
Giving his take on the dispute, Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the committee, told Sky News: “Mr Cameron, I think, was very clear that he was an internal employee rather than a independent lobbyist.
“But he was the one who identified lobbying as likely to be the next major scandal and we find him, in fact, lobbying to help Greensill Capital get loans from the UK government.
“It appears, although I obviously don’t know the details, that this company also had very privileged access to the treasury and government departments in a way that I don’t think is acceptable.”
Sir Alistair added: “I am uncomfortable with what appears to be an expectation of former ministers, former prime ministers.
“Believing that this is almost part of their retirement plans, they should be able to occupy key positions in the private sector, pay large sums and be able – because they have passes to the House of Commons – to have more. privileged access to government. “