David Cameron ‘accepts’ contact with government should be done through ‘formal channels’
David Cameron has broken his silence on his role in lobbying the government on behalf of failed Greensill Capital, saying he “accepts” communication with the government “needs to be done through only the most formal of channels”.
Cameron, who was a senior adviser at Greensill, denied any wrongdoing and said “I was breaking no codes of conduct and no government rules”.
It was revealed today by the Sunday Times that Cameron and Lex Greensill had gone for a drink in 2019 with health secretary Matt Hancock to lobby on behalf of Greensill Capital.
The pair set up the meeting to try to get Hancock to introduce a new payment system to the NHS, which was eventually introduced to the health service.
It was the latest revelation in a growing list of claims about Cameron’s lobbying push on behalf of the failed finance firm.
The former Prime Minister texted chancellor Rishi Sunak to try and get the Treasury to accept a bid for Greensill Capital to be allowed to access the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, which sees the Bank of England buy millions of pounds of corporate bonds.
Greensill Capital were denied access by the Treasury.
In a statement to the Press Association today, David Cameron said: “In my representations to government, I was breaking no codes of conduct and no government rules.
“Ultimately, the outcome of the discussions I encouraged about how Greensill’s proposals might be included in the Government’s CCFF (Covid Corporate Financing Facility) initiative – and help in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – was that they were not taken up.
“So, I complied with the rules and my interventions did not lead to a change in the government’s approach to the CCFF.
“However, I have reflected on this at length. There are important lessons to be learnt. As a former Prime Minister I accept that communications with government need to be done through only the most formal of channels, so there can be no room for misinterpretation.”
Greensill Capital was the only non-bank financial firm that was chosen by the government to administer the emergency coronavirus loan schemes.
The firm went bust last month, which has left UK taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of loans.
Questions have been raised about how they were able to administer the scheme.