Greensill Review Wants Ex-Ministers Listed as U.K. Lobbyists
Former U.K. government ministers should be required to register as a “consultant lobbyist” if they engage in lobbying activity, according to a report commissioned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid the furore over David Cameron’s work on behalf of Greensill Capital.
The proposed shakeup of lobbying rules recommended by lawyer Nigel Boardman would have included Cameron if the rules had been in place at the time, and should also include former senior civil servants, according to the second part of the review posted on the government’s website Thursday.
It follows the first part of Boardman’s report in July, which found that financier Lex Greensill had “extraordinarily privileged” access to the U.K. government and his role as an adviser at the center of power gave him a “marketing platform” for his own business.
Cameron resigned from government in 2016 in the wake of the U.K. vote to leave the European Union, and went on to work for Greensill Capital in 2018. His role attracted intense scrutiny after it was revealed he repeatedly called and texted ministers and officials in an effort to get the firm involved in a state-backed pandemic lending program.
The ultimate collapse of Greensill Capital heaped pressure on senior members of Johnson’s government to explain whether they gave the former premier any preferential treatment.
Cameron was earlier cleared of breaking existing lobbying rules.
Former ministers “have a privileged position from their knowledge of government,” Boardman said in his review. “I note that, were these recommendations in force at the relevant time, Mr. Cameron would have been required to register as a lobbyist.”
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said the government would “carefully consider” the recommendations and respond in due course. The government had committed to “continually reinforcing high standards of conduct in public life so the public can have trust and confidence in the operation of government at all levels,” the spokesperson said.
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