Former Prime Minister David Cameron under investigation for loans
Former Prime Minister David Cameron is under investigation by the lobbying watchdog over claims he tried to persuade government figures to grant loans to a financial firm for which he was working on.
Mr Cameron has reportedly sent a number of texts to the Chancellor’s private phone requesting support from Greensill Capital through the government’s Covid Business Finance Facility (CCFF).
He also reportedly approached the Bank of England about the company, which collapsed under administration earlier this month.
His activities are now under investigation by Harry Rich, the Registrar of Consulting Lobbyists – a position created in legislation passed by Mr Cameron’s government in 2014.
The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-partisan Campaigns and Union Administration Act 2014 criminalizes the fact that a person who is not a registered lobbyist directly pressurizes ministers or senior officials.
The violation could result in a fine of up to £ 7,500.
But people lobbying on behalf of their own organization are not required to register and it is understood that Mr Cameron was an employee of Greensill.
In a statement, the Office of the Registrar of Consulting Lobbyists said: “Following media reports, the Registrar of Consulting Lobbyists is investigating whether Mr. David Cameron has engaged in consulting lobbying activities. not recorded.
“The Registrar will not comment on this while the investigation is ongoing.
“Once the investigation is completed, a summary of the investigation will be posted on the Office of the Registrar of Consulting Lobbyists website. “
The Sunday Times reported that the former prime minister sent a number of text messages to Rishi Sunak asking for help with Greensill.
The Times later reported that it had lobbied the Bank of England directly.
Boris Johnson was asked on Wednesday whether Mr Cameron had contacted number 10 advisers about the company.
Mr Johnson said: “This is news to me. Such contacts or whatever, of course, will be recorded in the proper manner.”
In response to questions from Darren Jones, Labor Chairman of the Business Select Committee, Mr Johnson added: “On your point about contact between David Cameron, a former Prime Minister, and my office – or anyone in my office – I just have no knowledge of it. “
Greensill was the main funder of Liberty Steel, which has 12 factories in the UK and employs 5,000 people, but now faces an uncertain future.
Mr Cameron’s office did not comment on the investigation.