Boris Johnson was accused of plotting Greenhill to “cover up” Greenhill


After an official review issued a mild condemnation of the Greenhill lobbying scandal, Boris Johnson was accused of plotting to cover up the Greenhill lobbying scandal. David Cameron At the same time criticize the late senior civil servants.

City attorney Nigel Boardman (Nigel Boardman) drafted a report acknowledging that businessman Lex Greenhill Obtained a “special privilege” to enter Downing Street.

Former prime minister David Cameron The late cabinet secretary Jeremy Haywood was criticized in a 141-page comment drafted by city lawyer Nigel Boardman.

The report stated that Cameron “underestimated” the nature of his relationship with Greensail while lobbying officials and “could have made it clearer” about the work he had done for the Australian financier.

It claimed that a covering memorandum to the Prime Minister in 2012 stated that Lord Haywood was the principal responsible person for Greensail’s position in the government.

But Boardman’s review defended the existing lobbying rules, saying that although there is room for improvement, “the current system and the systems running inside it are functioning well.”

“The contact between the government and a wide range of stakeholders, which many people call’lobbying,’ is essential to the proper functioning of democracy,” Boardman said.

quick guide

What is the Greenhill lobbying scandal?

Performance

What is Greenhill Capital?

The company was founded by Australian financier Lex Greensill and specializes in supply chain finance. It can pay business bills immediately and help resolve late payment issues. Greenhill started working with the NHS as part of Citibank in 2012, but then established its own company.This collapse March.

How was David Cameron involved and what did he do?

When Cameron was prime minister Greenhill Started to seek government work, although according to reports, the Australian was originally brought in by then cabinet secretary Jeremy Heywood.But after stepping down in 2016, Cameron became Greenhill capital. According to reports, he obtained stock options worth tens of millions of pounds.

Last year, he sent “multiple” text messages to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and “informally” called two other finance ministers, asking Greensill Capital to get the largest possible allocation Government-backed loans According to the Covid Corporate Finance Facility or CCFF.He also lobbied a No. 10 assistant and took Greensail away in 2019 To “Private Drinks” With Health Minister Matt Hancock.

What is the government’s response?

Sunak’s text response in 2019, published after the freedom of information request, shows that last April The chancellor told Cameron He used to “push the team” at the Ministry of Finance to see if he could arrange to obtain a full CCFF loan. Other published documents show that officials of the Ministry of Finance held a series of meetings with Greensill Capital, but ultimately refused to enter the CCFF.The company later received approval for the Coronavirus Major Business Interruption Loan Program (CLBILS), enabling it to provide government-backed loans of up to 50 million pounds.

What else happened?

Greenhill is deeply integrated into Cameron’s Downing Street; he has A number 10 business card Called him a “senior advisor” and was nominated by Haywood as CBE.

The government’s chief commercial officer, Bill Crothers, began serving as a consultant to Greensill Capital in 2015, while still being employed by the civil service. It is worth noting that he received official approval. Boris Johnson refused to rule out the possibility that more officials may have contact with the company.

What are your concerns?

There are doubts as to why governments without cash flow problems need to use supply chain finance.

Cameron’s role is subject to special scrutiny. He seems to use his personal relationship to seek preferential treatment for companies in which he has financial interests.

Sunak’s commitment to help by “pushing the team” also attracted attention.

In the end, Crossers’ dual role raised new concerns, namely the revolving door between Whitehall and private companies, and then benefited from government contracts.

Peter Walker Political reporter

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The report avoided criticism of serving ministers and advisers lobbied by Greensail and Cameron, which aroused strong condemnation from the Labor Party. Angela ReinaThe deputy leader of the party stated that the report was “a typical cover-up and whitewash carried out by Boris Johnson to protect the government.”

Boardman, 70 years old, Appointed in April Independent investigation into government contracts and lobbying, including some senior Conservative politicians including Cameron, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rich Sunak, MP and former Health Minister Matt Hancock, and fellow Conservative Party politicians Francis Maud.

When Cameron served as prime minister and Haywood served as cabinet secretary, supply chain financier Greensail was allowed to enter Downing Street. After leaving the government, Cameron became an adviser to Greenhill Capital and lobbied ministers including Sunak to obtain government-backed loans.

The 141-page report said: “It is clear from the evidence I have reviewed that Mr. Greensail has a privileged—and sometimes extremely privileged—relationship with the government.”

Boardman concluded that Cameron’s communications with the Treasury Department, the Bank of England, and officials “could have explained his relationship with Greensill Capital more clearly”.

Cameron told Boardman that Greensill Capital “pays him a lot of money every year”, he owns the equity and participates in a freely determined unlimited bonus plan.

Jeremy Haywood: The late cabinet secretary was criticized in the 141-page Greenhill investigation report. Photo: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

Boardman concluded that the former Conservative party leader “did not violate current lobbying rules and his actions were not illegal,” and the evidence does not seem to indicate that he played a role in bringing Greenseal into the government. .

The review also provided new clues to the October 2019 meeting involving Cameron and Hancock.

Hancock told Boardman that he did not expect the other Greensill employees to be there and thought he was just meeting Cameron. Cameron said that Hancock did know in advance that he would be accompanied by colleagues including Greensail himself.

According to an email sent by Cameron to Hancock, Greensail proposed to allow NHS employees to withdraw their wages in advance through the app, which left a deep impression on Hancock.

The comment claimed that Haywood was “primarily responsible” for Greenhill’s role in the government during Cameron’s tenure as prime minister.

Someone mentioned that Greenseal was appointed as the Cabinet Office’s Economic and Domestic Secretariat called the “Approval Committee.” Haywood, who worked with Morgan Stanley financiers, responded: “Of course-although the bureaucracy is crazy!”

The review stated that Greenhill obtained official IT and security access to the Cabinet Office and was awarded the No. 10 position with the support of Haywood.

The role in the government provides Greensill with a “marketing platform for Greensill Capital to conduct business with the private sector.”

Boardman wrote: “It is not clear why Mr. Greensail was allowed to continue to serve as a government supply chain financing consultant in this situation.”

Critics claim that Boardman should not be responsible for the investigation because he has close ties to the government and the Conservative Party—he served as a non-executive director of the Commercial, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department and was Former Conservative Party Candidate.

In response to the report, Susanna Heywood, widow of Lord Whitehall Haywood, said that the report was flawed, especially because no one was allowed to speak on her husband’s behalf.

“The conclusion of this review is a convenient transfer of the embarrassment that the collapse of Greensill Capital continues to cause to the current government.

“The board of directors ran a seriously flawed procedure from start to finish to gag my late husband to help him become a scapegoat and cover up ministerial approval. Francis Maud And the appointment of Mr. Greensail by the government at the time,” she said.

Rainer said the terms of the investigation were restricted to avoid wider investigations into lobbying, privileged access, and revolving doors between Whitehall and the company.

“The rules that should regulate lobbying are completely incompatible with the purpose and require immediate and thorough reforms,” ​​she said.

In April of this year, Cameron admitted that he should communicate with the government “only through the most formal channels” instead of texting Sunak, because he admitted that he had made mistakes in the dispute.

In response to this report, Cameron said he was “happy that this report further confirmed that I did not violate the rules.”

“I have been saying that lessons need to be learned, and I agree that more formal channels of communication are needed.”



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