Labour Push For MP-Led Inquiry Into David Cameron And Greensill Lobbying Scandal
Labour are calling for a full Parliamentary inquiry into David Cameron's lobbying on behalf of Greensill (Alamy)
Labour will use tomorrow’s opposition day debate to push for an MP-led investigation of David Cameron and Greensill after accusing the government of trying to “mark its own homework” over the scandal.
They will force a binding vote on establishing a “full, transparent” parliamentary inquiry into the actions of the former Prime Minister and the now-collapsed financial services firm he was lobbying on behalf of.
It is in response to the independent review ordered by Boris Johnson yesterday, which Labour said has “all the hallmarks of a Conservative cover up”.
They are likening it to “the Priti Patel bullying case and the ‘Russia Report’ – that have been held behind closed doors and resulted in little or no action”.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds accused Rishi Sunak of "running scared" from the Greensill scandal after he did not appear in the Commons today to answer an urgent question on the matter.
The small business minister Paul Scully was sent instead, after the Treasury suggested the pandemic finance schemes Greensill applied to were overseen by the business department - and not by them.
“It was the Chancellor who needed to come to the House today," Dodds said.
“The Chancellor, who told David Cameron he would push his team to amend emergency loan schemes to suit Cameron's new employer.
"The Chancellor, whose officials met with Greensill ten times. The Chancellor, who took the credit for Government business loan schemes when they were in the headlines, indeed, who personally announced those schemes.
"Yet the Chancellor is frit of putting his name to those loan schemes today.”
Scully said Sunak had already provided a "comprehensive response" to questions on Greensill, and pointed to the review set up by the PM.
Labour say they will table a binding motion on Wednesday afternoon that would establish a new select committee to investigate the matter more widely, which would have the power to ask witnesses to give evidence and face questioning.
They say its remit would include dragging the senior political figures involved in the scandal, including Sunak and Cameron as well as health secretary Matt Hancock, before Parliament “to provide full transparency and publish key evidence”.
The cross-path group would also force the Government make public all communications relating to Greensill Capital between David Cameron, ministers, special advisors and senior staff.
Labour is unlikely to win the vote tomorrow but the party is aiming to force the government to whip its own MPs against the plans and have to explain why it does not want to see a wider inquiry take place.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “Any Conservative who wants to stop the cronyism rampant in their party and in government must vote with Labour this week to uncover once and for all the truth behind this scandal.”
The new select committee would be called the “Investigation into Lobbying of Government Committee”, and would also consider the effectiveness of existing lobbying legislation, the rules governing all public officials regarding conflicts of interest.
It will look at current transparency and accountability procedures, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments’ regulatory framework and sanctioning powers, and assess the extent of undue influence former politicians and advisers have on government.