In a heated testimony session, MPs scoffed at the Chancellor’s claim that no more attention was paid to the former prime minister than to an approach from any other person or organization.
Mr Sunak insisted that he and the Treasury had spent “very little time” pleading for help, telling the inquiry: “I don’t know David Cameron very well.”
But Mel Stride, the Conservative Chairman of the Treasury Committee, said: “It just doesn’t seem believable if he was a former prime minister pushing something as vigorously as he did, at the highest level. “
And Labor MP Siobhain McDonagh pointed out that the furious lobbying amounted to “25 texts, 12 WhatsApps, 8 emails, 11 calls and 9 meetings with top ministers and officials.”
“Can you name for me another company that got so much access at the height of the crisis?” she asked to know.
Text messages published in April revealed that Mr Sunak had ‘pushed’ officials to consider helping Greensill join a multi-million pound support program for Covid-19.
And, when the decision was finally made not to proceed, he personally telephoned Mr. Cameron to tell him the news.
The company wanted it to include supply chain finance – to allow businesses to get paid quickly during the recession – but the Bank of England would have been hit if its customers were strapped for cash .
In a text to Mr Sunak, Mr Cameron said, “Rishi, David Cameron here. Can I have a very brief word at some point.
“HMT refuses to expand CCFF to include supply chain finance… There is a simple misunderstanding I can explain. Thanks DC. “
But Mr Sunak said, “The identity of the person talking about it was irrelevant to the degree of attention and due diligence the issue had and required.”
Greensill’s proposal “probably occupied as little time as possible” as he and Charles Roxburgh, the second permanent secretary of the Treasury, battled the Covid crisis.
“It was a very small amount of my time, it was very little time for Charles, compared to the multiple other interventions we did at the time,” he told the inquest.
Mr. Sunak added, “In the end, we decided not to prosecute, but it was only fair to do due diligence. “
And he described telling Mr Cameron he would ‘push’ officials as’ just a turn of phrase ‘, telling MPs,’ I wouldn’t read too much about this.