UK gov't launches inquiry into Greensill lobbying by ex-PM Cameron
The independent review will investigate into former prime minister David Cameron’s lobbying for Greensill Capital and the role of its founder Lex Greensill in government, announced by PM Johnson’s spokesperson, according to several media reports. The spokesperson for PM Johnson added that there is “significant interest in this matter”, prompting the head of the state to launch an independent inquiry to ensure that the government is transparent about these activities.
The review will be led by legal expert Nigel Boardman, a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. The inquiry will also investigate the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, “especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital”, announced an official release. The investigation findings will be submitted to PM Boris Johnson by the end of June this year.
Boardman will have access to all necessary government information required to conduct the review and would engage with those involved at the time when decisions were made. Lex Greensill was roped in to work with the government and improve its efficiency during former PM Cameron's tenure.
In a letter to the BBC, Cameron said that Lex Greensill was brought to work with the government by the former cabinet secretary, Jeremy Heywood in 2011, terming it a civil service decision rather than a political one. Cameron took up the position of an advisor to Greensill Capital in August 2018, “contracted to work for the company for 25 days per year” and remunerated partly in form of a grant of shares. Responding to accusations that Cameron had directly intervened with other ministers on Greensill’s behalf, the former PM said, “I complied with the rules and my interventions did not lead to a change in the government's approach to the CCFF (Covid Corporate Financing Facility).” He further added that there are “important lessons to be learnt”.
Greensill Capital filed for insolvency in March this year, as it was unable to pay its $140m loan to Credit Suisse and defaults from its key client, the GFG Alliance.