David Cameron’s lobbying scandal gets even murkier

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It’s been reported that David Cameron took scandal-hit Australian financier Lex Greensill for a “private drink” with health secretary Matt Hancock. This was to discuss a payment scheme later rolled out in the NHS.

The developments are the latest in a lobbying controversy that has dogged the Conservative former prime minister in recent weeks.

Questions were mounting over his efforts to secure access for the finance company Greensill Capital, which later collapsed.

Cronyism

The Sunday Times also reported that Cameron messaged a senior adviser to Boris Johnson to lobby for Greensill. Following this, the Treasury reconsidered Greensill’s application for an emergency coronavirus (Covid-19) loan.

Cameron was said to have described the decision to exclude his employer’s firm, Greensill Capital, from the multibillion-pound scheme as “nuts”. And he pressed for chancellor Rishi Sunak to reconsider. Cameron wrote last year:

What we need is for Rishi (Sunak) to have a good look at this and ask officials to find a way of making it work

This week, it emerged that Sunak responded to private texts from Cameron. The chancellor reportedly said he “pushed” officials to consider plans that could have helped Greensill in 2020.

Read on...

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Labour has called for Sunak to “come out of hiding” and make a statement to parliament about the “growing scandal”. And it reiterated demands for an investigation.

“The whole scandal stinks”

Shadow chief secretary to the treasury Bridget Phillipson said:

Every day brings fresh revelations about the culture of cronyism at the heart of this Conservative Government.

Through David Cameron, Greensill looks to have had the run of Government from Number 10 down, including access to millions of pounds of public money.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, a former chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said:

We need an independent inquiry immediately. The whole scandal stinks.

Latest developments

Greensill was understood to have written to Hancock’s office about his proposed payment scheme in August 2019. He also copied in NHS England chairman David Prior. This was before the health secretary commissioned advice from officials.

An ally of Hancock confirmed a drink took place between Cameron, Greensill and the health secretary in October 2019. At the time, Greensill’s firm wanted to introduce a scheme to pay doctors and nurses flexibly via its mobile app Earnd.

Also in October 2019, NHS SBS, a joint venture between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and a French IT firm, announced that Earnd would be available free-of-charge to NHS employees.

Hancock’s ally, however, has said the health secretary acted appropriately. Hancock reportedly asked Greensill to work directly with the NHS rather than the DHSC.

No comment from Cameron

Cameron is yet to comment publicly about the “growing scandal”, as Labour has called it.

But a source close to the former prime minister said:

David Cameron was an enthusiastic champion of Greensill’s pay product, Earnd, and met with various people to discuss its rollout across the NHS.

A DHSC spokesperson said:

The wellbeing of NHS staff is the top priority of the department and Health Secretary.

Our approach was and is that local NHS employers are best placed to decide how different pay flexibilities fit with their overall pay and reward offer for their staff.

Separately, it was understood that Cameron’s message to the prime minister’s adviser was forwarded on to the Treasury. But it couldn’t be immediately confirmed whether the lobbying did lead to the Treasury reconsidering Greensill’s loan scheme application.

A No 10 spokesperson said:

Throughout the pandemic, an immense number of businesses contacted Downing Street with representations; these were passed on to relevant departments.

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  • Show Comments
    1. It’s a very different story regarding Cameron’s austerity policy. Somebody really needs to ask him how many poor and disabled people died in the years of his misrule.

      As for Margaret Hodge I forgot she even existed. It’s strange how she’s slunk back into the gutters now there’s no Corbyn to tell egregious lies about.

      1. The poisonous dwarf Hodge has multi millions stashed in her family business and far from the gaze and touch of the tax man. It was estimated some two years ago that she pays 2.9% in tax from this stash. The Egyptian born Jew has been a plague on the lives of socialists and over two hundred accusations of antisemitism made by her and were dropped by her when she was threatened with court proceedings. I do hope she joins Prince Phillip at her earliest convenience.

          1. “You’re”.

            If you’re going to create a fake account, troll ol boy, you should at minimum ensure you are able to scrape through the minimal levels of grammar required to pull it off. Otherwise, you just look like a foolish poor-boy troll with delusional feelings of attachment.

            Personally, I quite liked Hodge, despite all the accusations over the decades… until the Corbyn Years. That REALLY pulled the curtain away and let the daylight in.

            Poison you say? Well, it’s a decent suggestion, but to be fair as she spread so much, it’s quite likely she has made herself immune.

    2. Firstly, voters plus steel workers this part is linked to Lex Greensill.
      HOW much British taxpayer public cash did Lex Greensill get??
      From any Minister of your Tory party Boris?? and will our steel
      Workers suffer plus plants closedown now yes, or no? Tory Govt.
      //
      David Cameron’s lobbying scandal gets even murkier
      //
      Come on voter how can we trust a word this X-Tory P-M
      Tell us all after al he did a running from his responsibility
      To our country the good old U.K. plus Tory voters.
      //
      Boris we public plus voters wish a fully investigation into this
      Mess Starting before May 2021 election and NO dodgy Tory party
      members involved in the investigation (to cover up his mess)
      Boris including the Minister of Tory need to tell us public the
      Truth now not made-up C**p to cover D-Cameron ASS.
      //
      Look Boris plus all Tory party member that back up D-Cameron
      On this matter we public DO-NOT trust any of you now this will
      certainty put another nail in your Tory party coffin before next G.E.
      we voter will hold your party members fully to account over this
      matter in this article of dodgy deals for public cash to private sector
      firm that X party members have a stake in or employed by them.
      //
      A -Question for all Tory members below including Tory voters.
      It’s been reported that David Cameron took scandal-hit Australian
      financier Lex Greensill for a “private drink”??? On this matter of
      dealing while sat at a table getting drunk on cheap ales-beers.
      /
      Q—Boris has not Dove team just made a big deal with Australian Govt
      over cheap import of their C**p beer to sell in U.K. that may undermine
      the British pubs that may have to pay top price here in U.K. for bottled
      beers –my point to this question cheap ale plus beers leads to more drunks
      on our British streets to be policed by our NONE, existent police force you
      Boris including your party members that voted to cut our police force down
      have trashed plus failed to put back to FULL strength yet WHY?

    3. And now another ‘independent’ investigation in the classic English style where independent will transpire again to mean the opposite of what most of us could have sworn it meant. As soon as these are announced now you just know the outcome’s going to be bullshit.

      The Guardian has got a nerve to headline this as an ‘unprecedented’ formal enquiry. Are they in on it or just too comfortable to see what’s in front of their faces?

    4. You have to watch one of your famous murder mysteries to understand the nature of this Cameron, and the crowd he runs with.
      Death on the doorsill of NO. 10 Downing Street episode. Death/fraud is just a fantasy to outwit in their desite for power. The King of Drugs afterall for this class.

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