Inquiry needed into David Cameron’s Greensill links, says Labour leader Starmer
An inquiry must be held to “get to the bottom” of David Cameron’s dealings with a scandal-hit banker, according to Sir Keir Starmer.
The Labour leader made the call as he said the sooner such an inquiry starts “the better”.
It comes after Labour raised concerns that Mr Cameron, during his time as prime minister, had ordered Conservative peers to vote against proposals which would have stopped him lobbying for Greensill Capital.
There's got to be an inquiry, we need to get to the bottom of what happened, who spoke to who and what effect did it have
Last week, Mr Cameron was cleared of breaking lobbying rules following claims he tried to persuade Government figures to grant loans to the firm.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Sir Keir Starmer warned that there had been “increasing evidence of cronyism” during the coronavirus crisis.
He said: “I think through the pandemic, we’ve some we’ve seen some of the best of human behaviour in terms of the solidarity, the small things people have done for each other.
“We’ve also seen increasing evidence of cronyism – money being sprayed at contracts that haven’t delivered.
“And the Greensill issue, every day we learn a little bit more, there’s got to be an inquiry, we need to get to the bottom of what happened, who spoke to who and what effect did it have.
“And the sooner that inquiry starts the better.”
Labour has said that the collapse of Greensill, putting jobs in the steel industry at risk, could have been avoided had the Conservatives supported changes to the Lobbying Act in 2014.
Proposals by Labour under the Act would have made it more difficult for Mr Cameron to “open doors” across Whitehall for the firm, the party claims.
The amendments would have increased transparency and scrutiny around in-house lobbying, however were voted down by Conservative peers.
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said it was “disgraceful” that such measures were voted down previously.
She said: “It is shocking that a former Conservative prime minister not only boasted about how much money he would make from Greensill Capital, but also gave them an open door to government, starting with profiting off our NHS and ending with steelworkers’ jobs at risk.
“Voting down the very measures that could have stopped Cameron’s poor and hypocritical conduct in the first place is disgraceful.
“It’s the latest example of how Conservative cronyism has weakened our economy, costing jobs and taxpayer money.