David Cameron says Brexit referendum ‘thought through’
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It is alleged that financier Lex Greensill profited through a Government-backed loan scheme he designed after the then-prime minister gave him access to Whitehall departments. The Australian businessman founded Greensill Capital, the firm that went on to employ Mr Cameron but later collapsed. Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow minister for the cabinet office, said: “These reports raise very serious questions about the conduct of David Cameron and the access he gave Lex Greensill to ministers and Whitehall departments. Scandal “The British people deserve answers to those questions.
“That’s why the Conservatives should agree to an urgent inquiry so we can get to the bottom of this latest scandal.”
Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, also called for a probe.
He said: “There clearly should be a full inquiry because it sounds like a genuine scandal in which the public purse was put at risk without proper political authority.”
The allegations surfaced after the former Tory leader faced scrutiny for reportedly trying to persuade Government figures to grant emergency loans to Greensill Capital, where he was an adviser.
A newspaper investigation alleges the Australian was given access to departments while Mr Cameron was in No 10.
Mr Cameron received support yesterday from Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who called his friend a “man of utmost integrity”.
He added: “I’ve no doubt at all he would have behaved properly.
“As far as I can tell, no decision in Government policy was changed as a result of any meetings that took place. They’d be properly declared.”
A Government spokesman said: “Lex Greensill acted as a supply chain finance adviser from 2012 to 2015 and as a crown representative for three years from 2013.
“His appointment was approved in the normal manner and he was not paid for either role.”
The office of Mr Cameron, who was PM between 2010 and 2016, has not responded to a request for comment.
When Greensill Capital collapsed earlier this year it caused uncertainty for thousands of jobs at Liberty Steel, having been its main financial backer.
Meanwhile, the Government yesterday rejected an appeal by Liberty Steel for £170million in financial support, according to sources.
The company told the Government last week that support was needed to pay operating expenses and deal with recent losses.
Liberty Steel employs around 5,000 workers at sites across the UK.
A Government spokesman said: “The Government is closely monitoring developments around Liberty Steel and continues to engage closely with the company, the broader UK steel industry and trade unions.
“The Government has supported the steel sector extensively, including providing over £500 million in recent years to help with the costs of energy.”
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