Merk argiewe: disproportionate

‘Privileged few’ have disproportionate access to top government figures, Greensill lobbying report finds

‘Privileged few’ have disproportionate access to top government figures, Greensill lobbying report finds
Finance boss had ‘sometimes extraordinarily privileged’ relationship with government

Complaints that a “privileged few” have disproportionate access to those at the top of government are “justified”, a report into lobbywerk deur David Cameron on behalf of failed finance firm Greensill gevind het.

The report commissioned by Boris Johnson from lawyer Nigel Boardman found that financier Lex Greensill enjoyed “a privileged – and sometimes extraordinarily privilegedrelationship with government”.

And Mr Boardman wrote: “Recent scrutiny of government’s processes for managing lobbying, especially in the context of the engagement between government and those acting on behalf of Greensill Capital, has focused on a number of issues with the current system.

“In die besonder, it has been argued that the government’s processes for managing lobbying are insufficiently transparent, that external organisations are able to exploit certain loopholes to land their messages more effectively, and that a privileged few have a disproportionate level of access to decision makers in government.

“I think some of these observations are justified.”

The 141-page report covers the circumstances under which Greensill Capital gained access to senior Whitehall officials and ministers and secured government contracts for its supply chain finance services, as well as Mr Cameron’s lobbying for assistance under coronavirus business support schemes.

Mr Greensill himself had a desk and security pass within the Cabinet Office under Mr Cameron’s administration, despite being neither a civil servant nor a special adviser, leading to questions about the degree of his access.

The 141-page report covers the circumstances under which Greensill Capital gained access to senior Whitehall officials and ministers and secured government contracts for its supply chain finance services, as well as Mr Cameron’s lobbying for assistance under coronavirus business support schemes.

Mr Greensill himself had a desk and security pass within the Cabinet Office under Mr Cameron’s administration, despite being neither a civil servant nor a special adviser, leading to questions about the degree of his access.

The Boardman report finds that Mr Greensill was introduced to the Treasury and proposed for a CBE by then Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood, who had worked with him at merchant bank Morgan Stanley while on a sabbatical from government.

Greensill “intimated” to Lord Heywood in 2011 that he was “interested in working with government part time and in an unpaid capacitya move which Lord Heywood supported”, die verslag gevind, noting that the then chief of the civil service placed the businessman in the Economic and Domestic Secretariat.

It was clear that Lord Heywood, wat gesterf het in 2018, “respected Mr Greensill’s capabilities” and had a “High regard for his integrity”, found Boardman.

And he added: “Mr Greensill has indicated that the initiative came from Lord Heywood to do something to give back to the country.

“Mr Greensill has explained that this occurred in bilateral discussions of which there is no extrinsic evidence and it is, natuurlik, not possible to ask Lord Heywood to comment on this statement.”