Cameron says he had ‘big economic investment’ in Greensill Capital

Support us and go ad-free

David Cameron has said he had a “big economic investment” in Greensill Capital but insisted that did not motivate his intense lobbying of the Government for the collapsed firm.

The Conservative former prime minister said it was a “panful day” for him on Thursday as he gave evidence to MPs over his controversial lobbying of senior figures including Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Mr Cameron placed calls and sent dozens of texts and emails to ministers and senior officials as he appealed for their help in gaining access for Greensill to Government Covid support programmes.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak (Yui Mok/PA)

Appearing before the Commons Treasury Committee, he insisted there was “absolutely no wrongdoing” in his actions and defended his lobbying efforts, but accepted that former prime ministers “need to think differently and act differently”.

Mr Cameron confirmed he was a “regular” attendee of board meetings at the financial firm headed by Lex Greensill but said there was “certainly no sense of jeopardy” over the firm’s future as the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

He refused to tell the MPs how much he stood to gain from his involvement with Greensill, saying only that he had a “big economic investment”. He said:

I was paid an annual amount, a generous annual amount, far more than what I earned as prime minister, and I had shares – not share options but shares in the business – which vested over the period of time of my contract,

Lex Greensill
Lex Greensill (House of Commons/PA)

I had a big economic investment in the future of Greensill, so I wanted the business to succeed, I wanted it to grow.

The fact that I have this economic interest… that’s important, but I don’t think the amount is particularly germane to answering those questions, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a private matter.

He insisted that suggestions he was to make £60 million was a “completely absurd figure”. Cameron added:

The motivation for contacting the Government was that I thought we had a really good idea for how to help extending credit to thousands of businesses,

Committee chairman Mel Stride questioned the “potential motivation” for the lobbying, saying there is a difference when “there is a large amount of money riding on this business succeeding”.

Cameron said:

I wanted this business to succeed – I was being paid, I had shares, I had an interest in it, and I think that’s important for the committee to know.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us