David Cameron welcomes inquiry into Greensill lobbying

Former UK prime minister contacted government on behalf of failed finance company

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 20, 2016 British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London on February 20 , 2016 regarding the EU negotiations and to announce the date of the in-out EU referendum after chairing a meeting of the cabinet.  Pressure mounted on Britain's former premier David Cameron on April 12, 2021 as the government announced an inquiry into lobbying of ministers prior to the collapse of finance firm Greensill. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS

David Cameron welcomed an inquiry into lobbying by the former UK prime minister on behalf of failed finance company Greensill Capital, after questions were raised over his communications with senior government ministers.

The former Conservative Party leader insists he did not break any rules, but admitted he should have contacted the government “through only the most formal of channels”.

"David Cameron welcomes the inquiry and will be glad to take part,” his spokesman said.

Banker Lex Greensill was employed as an adviser to the government when Mr Cameron was prime minister from 2010-2016. After stepping down, Mr Cameron became an adviser for Mr Greensill’s company, which collapsed last month.

Mr Cameron reportedly sent text messages to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and contacted other finance ministers to ask if Greensill could have access to the government's emergency Covid-19 loan scheme at the start of the pandemic.

The former prime minister arranged a private meeting between Mr Greensill and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The UK government ordered an independent investigation, which will be led by Nigel Boardman, a partner at law firm Slaughter and May, who is expected to report his findings at the end of next month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the review would "ensure government is completely transparent about such activities".

Rachel Reeves, a senior figure in the opposition Labour Party, said the government’s actions had “the hallmarks of another cover-up”.

“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,” she said.