Europe

Former British PM David Cameron breaks silence on Greensill, defends lobbying

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Former British Prime Minister David Cameron broke his silence over the controversy of his lobbying for Greensill Capital, defending his actions and saying he was right to contact the finance ministry.

“I thought it was right for me to make representations on behalf of a company involved in financing a large number of UK firms,” Cameron said in a statement via the Press Association.

“This was at a time of crisis for the UK economy, where everyone was looking for efficient ways to get money to businesses.”

Cameron and government ministers have come under fire in recent weeks for their connections to Greensill, which specialised in financing supply-chain invoices and collapsed last month.

Cameron, an adviser to the firm, had lobbied Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to give Greensill access to Britain’s pandemic support programme.

He also arranged a private meeting with Health Secretary Matthew Hancock, after which a Greensill payment programme was used in the National Health Service, according to the Sunday Times.

Cameron did nevertheless say there were “important lessons” to be learned about how former ministers and prime ministers interact with the government, and that communications “need to be done through only the most formal of channels, so there can be no room for misinterpretation.”

“In my representations to government, I was breaking no codes of conduct and no government rules,” he said. “The Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists has found that my activities did not fall within the criteria that require registration.”

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