Boris Johnson Orders Independent Review Into David Cameron And Greensill Lobbying Scandal
Boris Johnson has ordered a review into Greensill Capital and supply chain finance amid the row over David Cameron's lobbying on behalf of the now-collapsed firm (Alamy)
Boris Johnson has called for an independent review into the role of Greensill Capital in government amid the David Cameron lobbying row.
After criticism of the former Prime Minister’s actions on behalf of the now collapsed financial firm, Downing Street has confirmed an investigation is now underway. The review will be led by legal expert Nigel Boardman, and the Cabinet Office.
Cameron attempted to draw a line under the issue after he broke his month-long silence on the growing scandal with a lengthy statement on Sunday night, but Labour said “serious questions remain unanswered”.
He was cleared by the lobbying watchdog last month, but another former PM, Gordon Brown, has called for tough new laws saying the current rules “bring public service into disrepute”.
There were suggestions this morning Johnson would now look into the issue, which were confirmed by his official spokesperson this lunchtime.
“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," the spokesperson said.
“As you know there's significant interest in this matter, so the PM 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.”
He added: “This independent review will also look at how contracts were secured and how business representatives engaged with government.
“It will be led by legal expert Nigel Boardman, and the Cabinet Office will set out more formal details later on.”
Number 10 said Nigel Boardman, who is a non-executive board member at the department for business, as well as chair of the audit and risk assurance committee, would have "access to the documents that he needs" for his probe, although it is not known if he will have legal powers.
Johnson wants the review into to be completed "thoroughly" and “promptly”, his spokesman said.
Asked if the PM believed the current lobbying rules needed to be changed, he replied: "As you have seen from what we have announced today, the Prime Minister understands the significant public interest in this and wants to look at the issues raised and get more details.
"But I think you can judge from his actions.”
In response Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister 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.
“The Conservatives can't be trusted to yet again mark their own homework.”
She added: "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."
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe