John Major on ‘inappropriate’ offers after leaving Downing Street: ‘I would never lobby!’

David Cameron is ‘entitled to earn a living’ says Charles Walker

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Former Prime Minister David Cameron has returned to the limelight over his alleged involvement in a lobbying scandal with a firm he advises and the Treasury. He was trying to secure Greensill access to a loan scheme called the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). The former Prime Minister wanted Greensill Capital to be able to issue loans using tax-payer cash through this scheme.

He sent multiple text messages to the personal phone of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and approached two junior Treasury ministers.

The scandal has sparked a wider row over private companies’ attempts to influence ministers and officials.

The Government has now asked a senior lawyer to conduct a review into the issue and to report by the end of June but last week the Commons Treasury Committee announced plans for its own probe, with other committees reportedly planning to do the same.

As stories about “sleaze” continue to emerge, an interview with former Prime Minister John Major on the issue has resurfaced.

In a 2007 BBC documentary titled ‘How to be an ex-Prime Minister’, journalist Michael Cockerell told the story of how Prime Ministers coped with life after Number 10.

Sir John warned colleagues to be “very careful” and opened up about the “inappropriate” offers he received after leaving Downing Street.

He said: “It is not only that you need to make sure you are doing something that is actually appropriate to the job that you once held.

“I think that is important.

“But also you need to be sure you don’t put yourself in a position where malicious tongues can suggest things that are not true.”

He added: “I waited to see what offers would come, and quite a few offers came.

“Some of them were very attractive, some of them were frankly inappropriate and I just pushed those immediately to one side.”

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Sir John claimed to have been offered jobs to chair organisations that he did not have an interest in.

He insisted: “I was very selective.

“I knew there were some things I would never do.

“I would never lobby. I would never use my address book and past contacts for specific business purposes.

“I knew I wasn’t going to do that.”

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After 17.4 million voted to leave the European Union in 2016, Sir John actively tried to reverse that result.

The Conservative Party grandee was already campaigning for a second plebiscite on Britain’s EU membership less than six months after the first one.

And he did everything he could to damage Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s premiership.

In September 2019, Sir John challenged the former London Mayor ’s decision to suspend Parliament at the Supreme Court and, during the general election campaign, he urged young voters to stop the Conservatives’ Brexit plan.

His call came in a video message for a Final Say campaign rally, which was held in London under the banner “Stop The Brexit Landslide”.

Things, though, did not go as he planned.

On December 12, Mr Johnson became the most successful Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher and on January 31, 2020, Britain officially left the bloc.

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