David Cameron ‘Made More Than £7 Million’ From Greensill Capital

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August 10, 2021 Updated: August 10, 2021

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is reported to have made $10 million (£7.2 million) from Greensill Capital before the company collapsed in March.

Cameron was revealed to have made $4.5 million (£3.25 million) after cashing in shares from the company in 2019, and a salary of roughly one million dollars a year for work as a part-time adviser.

The BBC’s Panorama programme has reportedly obtained a letter between the firm and the former prime minister detailing the value of his shares.

Cameron is believed to have made approximately $10 million (£7.2 million) before tax from Greensill over a two-and-a-half year period.

His spokesman said the former PM did not receive “anything like” the sums reported by the BBC, and added he “deeply regrets” Greensill’s collapse.

Cameron began his role as an adviser to Greensill in August 2018, just over two years after he resigned as prime minister in July 2016.

The firm’s founder, Lex Greensill, advised the government during Cameron’s time in No. 10 but he denied he had been offered a role while in office.

Greensill 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 $5 billion (£3.6 billion) from Greensill.

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

David Cameron lobbied the UK government to act as a new investor for the firm, texting ministers including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, as well as Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Sheridan Westlake, and deputy Bank of England governor Sir Jon Cunliffe.

The Bank of England turned Greensill down, but in June 2020 Greensill was approved as a lender under a government scheme designed to get emergency cash to companies affected by the COVID pandemic.

Greensill collapsed in March 2021, leading to a series of inquiries into Cameron’s conduct and what had happened to the firm.

Cameron’s spokesman said: “David Cameron did not receive anything like the figures quoted by Panorama.”

The spokesman added: “David Cameron deeply regrets that Greensill went into administration and is desperately sorry for those who have lost their jobs.

“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.”

The spokesman also said: “David Cameron has been clear all along that there are important lessons to be learnt from this whole episode and, as such, he has been pleased to provide evidence to the government’s Boardman Inquiry, and to two Parliamentary Select Committees.

“Both the Treasury Select Committee and the Boardman Report have since confirmed that he broke no rules. The Boardman Report also makes plain that he played no role in bringing Lex Greensill into government.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said it was ludicrous that Cameron walked away with $10 million (£7.2 million) for two-and-a-half years’ part-time work for a company that collapsed, risking thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

She added: “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.

“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.”

The Treasury Select Committee of MPs said in May that Cameron showed a “significant lack of judgment,” although he was cleared of breaking lobbying laws.

A review commissioned by the prime minister, by lawyer Nigel Boardman—a non-executive board member in the business department—said in July Cameron “could have been clearer” about his role with the firm as he lobbied ministers.

But it found the former Conservative Party leader “did not breach the current lobbying rules.”

By David Lynch

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