Businessman Lex Greensill was given “extraordinarily privileged” access to Downing Street, while the government’s lobbying process is not transparent enough and allows access to “a privileged few,” a report on the Greensill lobbying scandal concluded. commissioned by the prime minister.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron and the late Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood have come under fire in the 141-page review by city attorney Nigel Boardman.
Cameron “underestimated” the nature of his relationship with Greensill when pressuring officials, according to the report.
A coverage memo to the prime minister in 2012 singles out Lord Heywood as the main person responsible for Greensill having a role in government, the report claims.
Boardman, 70, was appointed in April to carry out an independent investigation into government contracts and lobbying that involved several high-ranking conservative politicians, including Cameron, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, MP and former health secretary Matt Hancock and the pair Francis Maude.
Apparently supply chain financier Greensill had had privileged access to Downing Street when Cameron was prime minister and Heywood was cabinet secretary. After leaving government, Cameron became an advisor to Greensill Capital and lobbied ministers, including Sunak, for access to government-backed loans.
Critics will question why Lord Maude and current ministers appear to have escaped criticism, while Heywood, who died in 2018, has been criticized. His wife, Suzanne Heywood, has claimed that Boardman should not have been in charge of the investigation due to his close relationship with the government and the Conservative party; he has been a non-executive director in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is a former Conservative Party candidate.