Friday 16 April 2021 12:55 pm

Top civil servant announced Lex Greensill in key role before joining firm

A top civil servant embroiled in the Greensill lobbying row reportedly announced the company’s founder as a Crown Representative before later joining the firm.

Bill Crothers, who was the government’s chief commercial officer until 2015, joined Greensill as an adviser while still working for the government.

Now it’s been revealed Crothers announced the firm’s founder, Lex Greensill, as a Crown Representative with influence over government contracts, the Evening Standard reported.

Read more: National Audit Office launches investigation into Greensill’s involvement in Covid loan schemes

Crown representatives, which are said to help the government strike better deals with suppliers, have huge influence are given a security pass for the Cabinet Office.

In 2014 Crothers, who became a Crown Representative while working at the Home Office, announced six new representatives including Greensill who was described as “Chief Executive of Greensill Capital and a Trustee of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra”.

Crothers praised his “top business acumen” and a year later was given a part-time job at Greensill before becoming vice president.

It is just the latest development in the Greensill saga which has triggered an investigation into the government’s approach to lobbying.

It has emerged former PM David Cameron, who was an adviser at Greensill, contacted several ministers including the Chancellor to push for more involvement in the government’s loan schemes in the company.

Read more: Greensill: ‘No boundaries’ between civil servants and private sector, says cronyism watchdog

The Treasury Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the lobbying scandal with chair Mel Stride saying MPs would  “take a closer look” at the circumstances surrounding efforts by Cameron and Crothers in lobbying on behalf of the failed finance firm.

Boris Johnson has also announced an independent probe, conducted by Slaughter and May lawyer Nigel Boardman, into the scandal.