Watch stay as David Cameron questioned on Greensill lobbying
David Cameron was informed he “should have known better” than to relentlessly foyer authorities on behalf of Greensill Capital throughout an look earlier than MPs.
The former prime minister’s behaviour was “fundamentally damaging to our democracy” and imperilled the impartiality of the civil service, Rushanara Ali, a Labour member of the Treasury Committee stated throughout questioning.
The embattled former PM is dealing with a grilling by MPs over his relentless efforts to safe authorities loans for Greensill. In his first encounter with the Treasury Committee, Mr Cameron admitted he had an open invitation to attend Greensill board conferences whereas not employed as a director.
He admitted he had a “huge economic curiosity” in Greensill Capital but refused to be drawn on how a lot he was set to achieve in share worth had the now collapsed monetary agency proved successful.
The fintech firm paid him a “beneficiant quantity” that was “way more” than he had earned whereas serving in Downing Street, he stated, but wouldn’t put a determine on his annual wage.
He additionally confirmed that he took up that supply on a number of events, earlier than and throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but says that he solely spoke about “geopolitical issues and such like” whereas board conferences happened.
Mr Cameron stated he “didn’t recall” collaborating in discussions on how the pandemic would possibly have an effect on the monetary agency. He is now dealing with the Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Labour MP Meg Hillier.
‘Good reasons’ for public sector to use Greensill fee methodology
Mr Cameron stated there have been good causes for the general public sector to use provide chain finance – the enterprise mannequin provided by Greensill Capital.
“Although public bodies say they want to pay their bills early and huge progress has been made – and a lot of credit needs to go to those organisations – there is in some public bodies just a level of bureaucracy and paperwork involved in generating invoices and paying bills that means there’s a delay, and the NHS would be a good example of that,” he stated.
“So, using an outside provider who can pay the pharmacies or other small businesses immediately and then reclaim the money from the Government, there’s an advantage in doing that.”
There was additionally the power to predict in advance what invoices would wish to be paid and it additionally averted a value to the Treasury of getting to borrow extra to pay invoices extra shortly, he stated.
“Those three reasons are good reasons for considering that this is not some bizarre idea but actually has a real-world application.”
Liam James13 May 2021 18:02
Greensill introduced in to Downing Street to work on invoice funds
At the Public Accounts Committee, Barry Gardiner asks David Cameron how Lex Greensill got here to work in Downing Street.
“My understanding is that Mr Greensill was introduced in by Jeremy Heywood, who knew him from a earlier job,” the previous prime minister replied.
“He brought him in with this remit of looking at how government could … pay bills faster.”
Mr Cameron stated he had not seen a “paper path” for Mr Greensill’s employment, but he knew the financier was “reporting in a way by means of the cupboard workplace.”
Liam James13 May 2021 17:42
Treasury Committee over, now to the Public Accounts Committee
Mr Cameron will shortly seem earlier than the Public Accounts Committee, the place MPs stated they are going to observe up on questions from the Treasury Committee.
Liam James13 May 2021 17:21
After Mr Cameron spoke concerning the impression of Greensill’s failure on employees and buyers, Labour’s Angela Eagle requested “So summing that up, then, it’s really no regrets then about your own personal behaviour?”
Mr Cameron stated that was not the case because it was “a great regret” that the corporate failed.
“The people I feel most sorry for are the people who worked for Greensill … and believed deeply in what the company was doing, and have lost their jobs,” he stated.
Liam James13 May 2021 17:16
Cameron ‘not offered work’ with Greensill while PM
Mr Cameron said he was not offered a job by Lex Greensill while prime minister.
Mr Greensill appears to have been an adviser to the government during Mr Cameron’s time in No 10. His role remains unclear but senior civil servants said he had a desk and access to the prime minister’s offices.
Mr Cameron told the Commons Treasury Committee: “I think I met him twice while I was in Downing Street and I can absolutely confirm at no stage did he ever suggest that I would go and work with him or for him afterwards.
“That happened after I left office.
Liam James13 May 2021 16:59
Cameron says fraudulent invoice claims ‘very disturbing’ if true
Mr Cameron stated stories that Greensill’s directors had discovered seemingly fraudulent invoices had been doubtlessly “very disturbing if true”.
Asked about current press stories on invoices associated to loans from Sanjeev Gupta, Mr Cameron stated: “I do not know any greater than you do about that. I’ve learn that in the newspapers. It appears regarding and I’m positive that it wants to be acquired to the underside of.”
Liam James13 May 2021 16:49
Cameron earned ‘big’ wage — but received’t say how a lot
Mr Cameron stated Greensill Capital paid him a “generous, big salary” but refused to say if it was decrease or increased than £1 million per 12 months.
Under strain from committee chair Mel Stride, the previous prime minister stated: “It was a generous, big salary that you might earn as someone in my position at a bank or what have you.”
Alastair Jamieson13 May 2021 16:34
‘I don’t have any cash offshore’ says Cameron
Mr Cameron insisted that “every proper tax is paid” in he UK when requested if he was protecting any of his earnings offshore.
“Everything I have done I have paid full UK tax on, whether that is capital gains tax or income tax,” the previous prime minister informed the Commons Treasury Committee.
“I don’t have any money offshore, I have an office of David Cameron which I fund through some of the work that I do, and I earn some money in a personal capacity.
“But every proper tax is paid – income and capital gains.”
Alastair Jamieson13 May 2021 16:23
Cameron: there have been faults with Greensill but it was not a ‘large fraud’
Mr Cameron informed the committee: “I am extremely sorry and sad that it has come to this end. Clearly there were faults with the business, there were vulnerabilities that weren’t properly addressed.
“Just because a business goes into administration doesn’t mean that everything was wrong, it doesn’t mean the whole thing was necessarily a giant fraud.”
He denied his lobbying of the NHS on behalf of Greensill was motivated purely by industrial achieve.
“I wouldn’t accept that for one second,” he stated.
He stated enabling NHS employees to draw down their wage as they earned it relatively than having to wait to the tip of the month “could go some way to ending the use of pay day lending”.
He urged there might be a job for a committee of former senior officers and enterprise individuals to advise former prime ministers on their enterprise contacts after they depart workplace.
“There really isn’t a road map for an ex-prime minister, particularly for a younger one who doesn’t just want to be on the board of some big bank and make the odd speech around the world, but who wants to get stuck in to help business expand,” he stated.
Matt Mathers13 May 2021 16:17
Cameron: Labour MP Siobhan McDonagh reminds ex-PM of speech on lobbying
“We all know how it works. The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way.”
Matt Mathers13 May 2021 16:05