Greensill: David Cameron’s spokesperson says he ‘acted in good faith’ and denies reports alleging he earned £7m before firm’s collapse

David Cameron’s spokesperson has said the former prime minister “acted in good faith at all times” and denied reports suggesting he made £7.2m from Greensill Capital before the company collapsed in March.

A letter between the finance firm and the ex-PM detailing the value of his shares, obtained by the BBC’s Panorama programme, reportedly reveals Mr Cameron made £3.25m after cashing in shares from Greensill in 2019.

Mr Cameron is said to have made over £7m before tax from the firm over a two-and-a-half year period.

David Cameron leaves his home in London ahead of giving evidence to the Commons Treasury Committee on Greensill Capital. Picture date: Thursday May 13, 2021.
David Cameron’s spokesperson says the former Conservative party leader committed ‘no wrongdoing’

But the former PM’s spokesperson said the assertions “are attempting to define a role for David Cameron at Greensill that is totally at odds with the facts”.

They added that Mr Cameron’s finances were “a private matter” that the former prime minister “did not receive anything like the figures quoted by Panorama”.

Mr Cameron became an adviser to Greensill, head by Australian businessman Lex Greensill, in August 2018, two years after resigning as prime minister.

During his time in the role, the former PM lobbied the government to allow the firm access to its coronavirus loans schemes – texting Chancellor Rishi Sunak, as well as one of the PM’s senior advisers and a Bank of England governor.

Greensill Capital provided so-called supply chain finance to businesses, which meant the finance firm would pay a company’s invoice immediately after it was sent, cutting out the usual delay which can restrict companies’ cash flows.

The firm was the main financial backer to GFG Alliance – a group of companies controlled by the steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta, which borrowed around $5bn (£3.6bn) from Greensill.

But Greensill used its own cash to cover repayments GFG could not afford, according to Panorama.

Greensill went into administration in March 2021 after its insurer refused to renew cover for the loans it was making – leading to a series of inquiries into what happened to the company and Mr Cameron’s involvement.

Earlier this year, MPs found that Mr Cameron showed a “significant lack of judgement” through his involvement with Greensill, but the former PM was cleared of breaking lobbying rules.

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron meets China's Premier Li Keqiang (not pictured) at Zhongnanhai leadership compound, in Beijing, China, November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool
A spokesperson for the former PM said his finances were ‘a private matter’.

And a review commissioned by Boris Johnson by lawyer Nigel Boardman – a non-executive board member in the business department – Mr Cameron “could have been clearer” about his role with the firm but “did not breach the current lobbying rules”.

In a statement released after the new allegations emerged on Monday evening, Mr Cameron’s spokesperson said the former Conservative party leader committed “no wrongdoing”.

“David Cameron deeply regrets that Greensill went into administration and is desperately sorry for those who have lost their jobs,” the spokesperson said.

“As he was neither a director of the company, nor involved in any lending decisions, he has no special insight into what ultimately happened.

“He acted in good faith at all times, and there was no wrongdoing in any of the actions he took. He made the representations he did to the UK government not just because he thought it would benefit the company, but because he sincerely believed there would be a material benefit for UK businesses at a challenging time.

“He had no idea until December 2020 that the company was in danger of failure.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak after delivering his 'Mansion House' speech at the Financial and Professional Services Address, previously known as the Bankers dinner, at Mansion House in the City of London. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The former PM lobbied the government to allow Greensill access to its coronavirus loans schemes – texting Chancellor Rishi Sunak among others

“We are not commenting on David Cameron’s remuneration; this is a private matter. But it is preposterous to suggest that he would work for any company if he was aware that it was behaving improperly, or was in any way seeking to mislead investors.

“Indeed, Panorama’s questions and assertions are attempting to define a role for David Cameron at Greensill that is totally at odds with the facts. He was a part-time adviser to the company – one of several – and had no executive or board responsibilities whatsoever.”

The statement adds that Mr Cameron “had no knowledge” of GFG’s financial situation and repeats that “both the Treasury Select Committee and the Boardman Report have since confirmed that he broke no rules”.

But Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said it was “ludicrous” that the former Conservative prime minister allegedly earned over £7m from his work with Greensill and accused Mr Cameron of “using his Tory contacts for huge personal gain”.

Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner said it was ‘ludicrous’ Mr Cameron allegedly earned over £7m from his work with Greensill

“The fact that David Cameron was cleared of any wrongdoing, proves that the rules that are supposed to regulate lobbying are completely unfit for purpose. It’s created a wild west where the Conservatives think it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else,” Ms Rayner said.

“The system causes more harm than good by giving a veil of legitimacy to the rampant cronyism, sleaze and dodgy lobbying that is polluting our democracy under Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.

“This is money most of us cannot even imagine, but for David Cameron it was just a part-time gig using his Tory contacts for huge personal gain.”

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