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David Cameron’s banker boss made no savings for public sector, MPs hear

Greensill tycoon ‘didn’t save us a penny’: David Cameron’s banker boss made no savings for public sector, MPs hear

  • Lex Greensill was introduced to Whitehall by late mandarin Sir Jeremy Heywood
  • But ex-Cabinet Office minister Lord Maude thought his ideas ‘didn’t stack up’
  • Said his proposal of using private firm to pay suppliers was ‘at best a distraction’
  •  Mr Greensill’s access to the heart of Government is being investigated by MPs 

David Cameron’s banker boss did not save taxpayers a penny when he was brought into Government, MPs were told yesterday.

Lex Greensill was introduced to Whitehall by late mandarin Sir Jeremy Heywood as a ‘very clever guy’ who could find substantial savings for the public sector, it was claimed.

But former Cabinet Office minister Lord Maude said Mr Greensill’s idea of using a private firm to pay suppliers was ‘at best a distraction’.

David Cameron’s banker boss Lew Greensill did not save taxpayers a penny when he was brought into Government by the Cabinet Secretary, MPs were told yesterday

He said he ended up sending a ‘stroppy’ message to then Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy, complaining that major suppliers were going to be encouraged to use the controversial Supply Chain Finance scheme.

Mr Greensill later hired Mr Cameron as a senior adviser in his now-collapsed financial services firm, triggering a scandal when details emerged of the former PM’s lobbying of ministers for Covid loans.

Lord Maude told MPs investigating the Greensill saga: ‘I have seen nothing that suggests that any involvement the Government had with Supply Chain Finance actually saved the Government money.’

He added: ‘Cutting the running costs of Government was my day job, and this was immensely demanding.

Lex Greensill was introduced to Whitehall by late mandarin Sir Jeremy Heywood as a 'very clever guy' who could find substantial savings for the public sector, it was claimed

Lex Greensill was introduced to Whitehall by late mandarin Sir Jeremy Heywood as a ‘very clever guy’ who could find substantial savings for the public sector, it was claimed 

But former Cabinet Office minister Lord Maude said Mr Greensill's idea of using a private firm to pay suppliers was 'at best a distraction'

But former Cabinet Office minister Lord Maude said Mr Greensill’s idea of using a private firm to pay suppliers was ‘at best a distraction’ 

‘Jeremy Heywood, at some stage I think before he became Cabinet Secretary which was New Year 2012, asked me to see Lex Greensill.

‘He said, “this is a very clever guy who is going to help you to save lots of money, what he is proposing is completely consistent with what you’re trying to do.”’

But he went on: ‘I could not see how Jeremy’s contention that this would save the government a lot of money stacked up, because it is kind of rule 101 of finance that nobody could provide finance more cheaply than a triple-A rated Government, which is what we were.

‘And so if we wanted to advance money through our supply chain, and there were good reasons for doing that, then, the best way to do it was for us to do it ourselves, not get someone else to do.’

He said documents show Mr Greensill was initially appointed for three months starting on January 1, 2012, the exact date when Sir Jeremy became Cabinet Secretary.

But Lord Maude claimed that while his Efficiency and Reform Group eventually saved taxpayers more than £52billion over five years, Mr Greensill’s work did not help.

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