Now David Cameron faces questions on Far East trip with tycoon amid accusations he ‘blurred the lines’ with role at financial firm
- David Cameron faces questions over a business trip to Singapore in 2019
- Cameron flew to the Asian city state to open an office for Greensill Capital
- Critics question if he was transparent about his position as a paid adviser
The former prime minister flew to the Asian city state in 2019 to open an office there for Greensill Capital.
While on the visit, he also hosted a lunch for the local branch of the British Chambers of Commerce to ‘bang the drum’ for UK trade, according to his website.
Accusations: David Cameron and Greensill executive Ilkka Tales opening Greensill’s Singapore office in late 2019
The gathering was attended by representatives of leading businesses including Lloyds Bank and Rolls-Royce.
But mingling with the distinguished guests was Lex Greensill, the Australian founder of the collapsed financial firm, who helped to organise the high-profile event.
Mr Cameron tweeted about the BCC Singapore gathering, which was also written up on his official web page, conveying the impression he was acting in his capacity as a former PM to further British business ties abroad.
At no point was there any mention of his relationship with Mr Greensill.
Press releases trumpeting Mr Cameron’s Singapore trip have recently been deleted from the lender’s website.
The event would have given Mr Greensill access to a room full of business leaders to whom he could tout his firm.
Critics last night said the Singapore episode raises questions over whether the former PM had been sufficiently transparent about his position as a paid Greensill adviser.
But Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden defended his long-term ally Mr Cameron yesterday, saying he was a ‘man of utmost integrity and I’ve no doubt at all he would have behaved properly’.
However, Labour MP Rachel Reeves, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said: ‘There appears to be a troubling blurring of lines here – the Government needs to make it clear what checks were done around Cameron hosting this event with full transparency, and how they plan to deal with these concerning revelations.’ It follows the Mail’s revelation that Mr Cameron’s headline speaking slot at a summit in Saudi Arabia, also in 2019, could have made his stake in Greensill worth up to £70million.
BCC Singapore and Greensill declined to comment on the Singapore event. Mr Cameron’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Details of the trip came amid a slew of new allegations against Mr Cameron and Greensill, which collapsed into administration earlier this month, putting 50,000 jobs at risk.
During Mr Cameron’s time as Prime Minister, his friend Mr Greensill was given a security pass and a team of civil servants so he could promote the financial products he specialised in across Whitehall, The Sunday Times reported.
Mingling with the distinguished guests was Lex Greensill, above, the Australian founder of the collapsed financial firm, who helped to organise the high-profile even
In one instance, Mr Cameron signed off on a multi-billion-pound lending scheme for NHS-linked pharmacies proposed by Mr Greensill, despite a report rejecting the idea, according to the paper.
Greensill collapsed into administration this month, leaving thousands of jobs in the lurch at firms such as Liberty Steel. The lender had specialised in supply-chain finance – paying a company’s suppliers quickly, and recouping the money from the firm at a later date for a fee. Mr Cameron was cleared of wrongdoing last week by the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists after it emerged that he had texted Chancellor Rishi Sunak in a bid to get Greensill access to emergency Covid loans. The former prime minister said he did not need to register as a lobbyist, because he was an in-house employee.
Deleted Greensill press releases called him a senior adviser. He was never listed as a director. Mr Cameron and Greensill have refused to reveal details of his employment.
Lord Mann, former chairman of the Treasury select committee, said: ‘We expect transparency these days from everyone involved in financial services. It needs to be more so, not less so, for ex-ministers and prime ministers.’ A Government spokesman said: ‘Lex Greensill acted as a supply chain finance adviser from 2012 to 2015 and as a Crown Representative for three years from 2013. His appointment was approved in the normal manner and he was not paid for either role.’