• Saturday, June 25, 2022

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Greensill: David Cameron took home £7m from company he lobbied for

Former British prime minister David Cameron (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images).

By: Pooja Shrivastava

FORMER British prime minister David Cameron made more than £7 million from Greensill Capital before the collapse of the finance company, media reports claimed on Monday (9) citing recently-emerged documents which show that the former Conservative leader cashed-in about £3.25m alone through Greensill shares in 2019.

 

Cameron made a fortune in his alliance with Greensill, including £3.25m from the company’s shares in 2019, £721,000 in annual salary as a part-time “adviser”, and more than £500, 000 as a bonus, claimed the recently-emerged documents on BBC’s Panorama. It looks like he made more than £7 million before tax for two-and-a-half years’ part-time work, reports said.

Greensill, which made its money by lending to businesses, went into administration in March, leaving investors facing billions in losses, and collapsed after its insurer refused to renew cover for the loans it was making.

Greensill Capital lent around £3.6bn to GFG Alliance – a group of companies controlled by the steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta which employs 35,000 people around the world, including more than 4,000 at steel mills in the UK.

Cameron hit the headlines when it emerged that he was using his closeness to current cabinet ministers to try to persuade them to underwrite Greensill’s loans with taxpayer cash.

 

Signage is seen outside the offices of collapsed finance firm Greensill near Warrington, northwest England, on April 12, 2021. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

 

 

He was accused of sending 56 messages lobbying ministers, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and senior civil servants. He wanted the Bank of England to invest more than £10bn in Greensill’s loans, reports said.

Although Cameron was unsuccessful in his approaches, Greensill reportedly was approved as a lender under a government scheme designed to get emergency cash to companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

He has since been cleared of breaking any lobbying rules, but MPs said the former prime minister showed a “significant lack of judgement”.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said that the fact that David Cameron was cleared of any wrongdoing, proves that “the rules that are supposed to regulate lobbying are completely unfit for purpose”. 

“It’s created a wild west where the Conservatives think it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else,” Rayner said, adding that system causes more harm than good by giving a “veil of legitimacy to the rampant cronyism” that is “polluting our democracy under Boris Johnson and the Conservatives”.

Cameron’s spokesman said: “He acted in good faith at all times and there was no wrongdoing in any of the actions he took” adding that the former prime minister “did not receive anything like the figures quoted by Panorama”.

 

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