Sunday, October 17News That Matters

MPs to launch inquiry into lessons learned from Cameron-Greensill lobbying row

A committee of MPs is to launch an inquiry into the lessons learned from the Cameron-Greensill lobbying row.

The Treasury Committee will next week begin looking at how appropriate the Treasury’s response was to lobbying by former prime minister David Cameron on behalf of Greensill Capital.

Mr Cameron, who was employed by the finance firm’s owner Lex Greensill in 2018 after he left Downing Street, has been revealed to have approached serving ministers about the involvement of Greensill Capital in government-backed financial support schemes during the coronavirus crisis.

This included text messages sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Mr Cameron also had a drink with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, attended by Mr Greensill, at which they are reported to have discussed a payment scheme later rolled out in the NHS.

The former prime minister was cleared of any wrongdoing by the official watchdog in March 2021 on the basis he was an employee of Greensill Capital rather than a third-party lobbyist.

The Treasury Committee will also look at the regulatory lessons learned from giving Greensill access to government cash, for it to then collapse last month.

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Full details of what it will look into will be published when the inquiry is launched.

The news a fresh inquiry would be launched came hours after Boris Johnson told MPs at Prime Ministers’ Questions he shares their “widespread concern” about the controversy and questioned whether “boundaries” between top civil servants and businesses had been “properly understood”.

Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “The Treasury Committee had previously decided to carefully consider these issues as part of its regular and upcoming evidence sessions with HM Treasury and its associated bodies, including the Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England.

“In addition to this, we have now decided to take a closer look by launching an inquiry to investigate the issues that fall within our remit.

“We will publish further details when we launch the inquiry officially next week.”