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Banker Lex Greensill has been given special access to the UK government and has been able to promote products that don’t actually offer material benefits,” the official review concluded Thursday.
The review, by attorney and former government adviser Nigel Boardman, comes after reports that former Prime Minister David Cameron, hired as Greensill’s adviser, repeatedly pressured access to senior officials and ministers in Britain’s lobby and It comes amid a new investigation into transparency measures. on the state-owned coronavirus loan scheme.
Greensill’s bankruptcy in March put jobs at a major steel maker at risk and prompted the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to launch an investigation into the “probable criminal” failure.
Boardman’s review looked at Greensill’s interactions with the UK government, first as a traveling advisor to supply chain finance during Cameron’s tenure, and then as a company lobbying the Whitehall department after the former prime minister left the government.
The review director, a non-executive director of government who resigned to conduct the review, withdrew most of the criticism of the late Jeremy Heywood, who died of cancer in 2018 while serving as the UK’s top civil servant.
Boardman noted that Heywood learned that Greensill had primary responsibility for his role in government, and that the appointment of Greensill to his office should have more fully considered potential conflicts of interest.
Boardman said the financier was given access to several departments in Whitehall through an introduction by Sir Heywoods, as well as the No. They said they could use their location using 10’s of facilities. [Downing Street], holding meetings with major companies.
What he did in government could benefit his early business and immediately benefit Citibank’s former employer, where Heywood previously worked, but his value to the public was questionable.
Susan, the widow of Haywoods, denounced Boardman, saying that Boardman had “made the head of an event that occurred long after his death,” the late cabinet minister, who had already been valued by successive prime ministers.
Cameron ‘didn’t break the rules’
Cameron, who bombed ministers and officials with messages in 2020 as Greensill attempted to gain access to the Treasury’s plans, was not violating current lobbying rules and his actions were not illegal, Boardman said.
Westminster’s existing lobbying transparency settings require that only a small percentage of lobbyists serving as third-party “consultant” influencers register their activities. The UK’s revolving door watchdog, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, can openly admonish the former minister for lobbying, but not sanctions.
Cameron said his way of communicating via text messages and emails was not the right way for the former prime minister to engage with the government.
Boardman has not proposed any plans to reform the UK lobby, and separate inquiries from UK lawmakers continue.
He acknowledged the claim that Whitehall’s external approach management process was not transparent enough and reiterated the call for governments for clearer guidance on how to appoint people from the outside, saying that some of these observations were justified by the Greensill saga.
But while government lobbyists use strong methods, Boardman says the low adoption of supply chain finance initiatives in the government and the fact that the Treasury rejected Cameron’s approach proves that ministers and officials made a proper request. He found that the UK’s current system and the systems operating within it were working well.
“I make it clear that I am not responsible for introducing Rex Greenseal into the government or any action related to it,” Cameron said in a statement.
“I have been open to my relationship with Greensill Capital and acknowledge the importance of being explicit in this regard,” he added.
But Labor has dubbed the report “a classic Boris Johnson cover-up and whitening to protect government.”
Deputy Representative Angela Rayner argued that Britain’s lobbying rules “do more harm than good by giving a veil of legitimacy to the pervasive cronyism, slander and whimsical lobbying that is polluting our democracy under the party”.
This article is part of POLITICOs Premium Policy Services: Pro Financial Services. Expert journalists from the Eurozone, Banking Union, CMU and more provide up-to-date information on topics driving the financial services policy agenda. e-mail [email protected] Free trial.
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