David Cameron and Lex Greensill, founder of the now collapsed finance company to which Cameron was an adviser, are both due to testify before MPs next week, it has been announced.
The Treasury committee, which has launched an investigation into the lessons that can be learned from the company’s demise and its role in working with the government, will hear from Cameron on Thursday afternoon, he said.
This will be preceded, Tuesday afternoon, by questions to Greensill, whose company is at the center of a lobbying controversy by Cameron on access to loans from the Covid government.
It will be the first time the former PM or Greensill has spoken publicly about the company and its collapse since information was released in March on lobbying.
Cameron, who had stock options potentially worth millions of pounds at Greensill Capital, texted Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for emergency Covid loans, and has repeatedly contacted other Treasury ministers .
Although the loans have not been made, the select committee’s investigation is part of a series launched on Greensill Capital’s role in providing government supply chain finance and the issue of whether ministers have been subjected to inappropriate pressure.
Mel Stride, the Tory MP who chairs the Cross-Party Treasury Committee, said: “The committee is committed to answering the key question of whether HM Treasury adequately responded to lobbying on behalf of Greensill Capital, including that carried out by David Cameron. .
“We also want to establish what lessons there are from the collapse of Greensill for the functioning of the financial system.
“Following our first investigative evidence session last week with experts, next week we will hear from two of the key figures: Lex Greensill and David Cameron. The committee will want to carefully review their actions in relation to Greensill Capital and its interactions with HM Treasury. “
Separately, Downing Street has ordered an investigation into Greensill Capital’s role and lobbying, which will be led by corporate lawyer Nigel Boardman.
Two other parliamentary committees, the Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Public Accounts, have also said they will review aspects of Greensill’s work and interactions with government.
The National Audit Office, the independent oversight body for parliamentary spending, is also investigating how Greensill Capital has been authorized to provide financial support through the Major Interruption Loans (CLBILS) program against the coronavirus. This was the program the company had access to, after Cameron failed to persuade ministers to allow it full access to loans under the Covid Business Finance Facility (CCFF).
Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, also ordered officials to disclose any conflicts of interest after it was revealed that a senior official worked for Greensill while in government.