Investigation launched into David Cameron and Greensill affair
- Credit: PA
Boris Johnson has commissioned a wide-ranging independent review into Greensill Capital, the collapsed financial firm for which David Cameron lobbied ministers.
Downing Street announced that lawyer Nigel Boardman is due to lead the probe, which will examine how government contracts were secured by the company and the actions of the former prime minister.
Cameron accepted that he should have communicated with the government “through only the most formal of channels” rather than text messages to chancellor Rishi Sunak as he acknowledged mis-steps over the controversy.
Breaking his weeks of silence, the former Conservative prime minister said in a statement that having “reflected on this at length” he accepts there are “important lessons to be learnt”.
Downing Street said Johnson had called for the independent review to be launched into Greensill, which collapsed into administration in March, due to “significant interest” in the matter.
The prime minister’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “The Cabinet Office is commissioning an independent review on behalf of the Prime Minister, to establish the development and use of supply chain finance and associated activities in Government, and the role Greensill played in those.
“As you know, there is significant interest in this matter, so the prime minister has called for the review to ensure government is completely transparent about such activities and that the public can see for themselves if good value was secured for taxpayers’ money.
“This independent review will also look at how contracts were secured and how business representatives engaged with government.”
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Leading the inquiry will be legal expert Boardman, a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who has previously conducted a review of Cabinet Office procurement processes.
He is the son of Tory peer Lord Boardman.
Downing Street said Boardman will have “access to the documents that he needs” in his probe, which the Prime Minister wants to be completed “thoroughly” and “promptly”, according to his spokesman.
A spokesman for Cameron said: “We welcome this inquiry and will be glad to take part.”
But Labour said the review, announced on Monday, risks kicking the issue into the “long grass”.
Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves said: “This has all the hallmarks of another cover-up by the Conservatives.
“Just as with the inquiry into Priti Patel’s alleged bullying, this is another Conservative government attempt to push bad behaviour into the long grass and hope the British public forgets.
“We need answers on Greensill now – that means key players in this cronyism scandal like David Cameron, Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock appearing openly in front of parliament as soon as possible to answer questions.”
The opposition will seek to maintain pressure on the government over the issue this week when a minister will be forced to respond to an urgent question from shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds on the issue.
The Sun reported that ministers and special advisers across Whitehall have been ordered to declare any contacts with Cameron.
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