Greensill had ‘extraordinarily privileged’ relationship with government – review

Greensill had ‘extraordinarily privileged’ relationship with government – review
Prime Minister Boris Johnson commissioned lawyer Nigel Boardman to carry out the review.

Lex Greensill enjoyed an “extraordinarily privileged” relationship with government and David Cameron “could have been clearer” about his relationship with the financier’s firm, a review has found.

The long-awaited report about Greensill Capital, the collapsed financial company that the former prime minister lobbied ministers for, was published on Thursday.

Boris Johnson commissioned lawyer Nigel Boardman to carry out the review amid widespread criticism of Mr Cameron’s lobbying activities.

The report, totalling 141 pages, dit: “It is clear from the evidence that I have reviewed that Mr Greensill had a privileged – and sometimes extraordinarily privileged – relationship with government.”

Screengrab showing Lex Greensill giving evidence to the Commons Treasury Committee in May (House of Commons/PA)

Mr Boardman concludes that Mr Cameron, the former Conservative Party leader, “did not breach the current lobbying rules and his actions were not unlawful”.

But the report added that “Mr Cameron could have been clearer about his relationship with Greensill Capital” in his communications with the Treasury, the Bank of England and officials.

Mr Cameron told Mr Boardman that Greensill Capital was paying him “a good amount of money every year” and he had equity and participated in a discretionary uncapped bonus scheme.

The review says Lord Heywood the late cabinet secretary, was “primarily responsible” for Mr Greensill securing a role in government, during Mr Cameron’s premiership.

There was mention of Mr Greensill’s appointment to the Cabinet Office’s economic and domestic secretariat being referred to an “approvals board”, to which Lord Heywood, who worked with the financier at Morgan Stanley, responded: “Sure – though it is bureaucracy gone mad!"

Mr Greensill was given two sets of official IT and security access for the Cabinet Office and, with Lord Heywood’s support, Non 10, the review says.

The role in government provided Mr Greensill “with a marketing platform for Greensill Capital’s business with the private sector”.

“This enabled Mr Greensill to promote a product which did not, En réalité, provide material benefits to government (except possibly in relation to the pharmacy supply chain finance programme, although even here the benefits are disputed), although it could have been of benefit to his incipient business and was of immediate benefit to his former employer, Citibank,” the report says.

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