The Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into the lobbying scandal over Greensill Capital and will publish its full terms of reference next week
The inquiry will focus on the regulatory lessons from the failure of Greensill Capital and the appropriateness of the Treasury’s response to lobbying by former prime minister David Cameron.
The scandal, which is the most serious controversy of government lobbying and cronyism in recent years, drew in former prime minister David Cameron, who in 2016 became an advisor to Greensill Capital.
The inquiry will investigate Cameron’s role in lobbying the current Chancellor Rishi Sunak on behalf of Greensill Capital, asking the Treasury for the largest possible allocation of government-backed loans under the Covid corporate financing facility (CCFF). Sunak was forced to release an exchange of texts with the former prime minister which stated that he had ‘pushed the team’ of Treasury officials to look at Greensil’s application again, however the firm was eventually denied access to the scheme.
Another involved in the scandal was the government’s former chief commercial officer, Bill Crothers, who began working as an adviser to Greensill Capital in 2015 whilst still employed in the civil service. Boris Johnson declined to rule out the possibility that more officials could have been connected to the company on Wednesday.
Mel Stride MP, chair of the Treasury Committee, said: ‘The Treasury Committee had previously decided to carefully consider these issues as part of its regular and upcoming evidence sessions with HM Treasury and its associated bodies, including the Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England.'
‘In addition to this, we have now decided to take a closer look by launching an inquiry to investigate the issues that fall within our remit. We will publish further details when we launch the inquiry officially next week.’
Boris Johnson announced this week that an independent review will be conducted by Slaughter and May corporate lawyer and government advisor Nigel Boardman. The Labour Party has questioned Boardman’s independence and called for a wider inquiry based around a cross-party panel of MPs but this notion was defeated after a Commons debate by 357 votes to 262.