'Does Dave remain dodgy?' - South Shields MP wades into David Cameron Greensill lobbying row in Parliament
A South Tyneside MP took aim at Ministers and David Cameron as the row over the former Prime Minister’s lobbying activities rages in Parliament.
Concerns over lobbying have grown after Mr Cameron sent text messages Chancellor Rishi Sunak and reportedly took Health Secretary Matt Hancock for a “private drink” with his employer Lex Greensill as part of his lobbying activities.
And MPs will vote today, April 14, on whether to establish a parliamentary inquiry into the former Tory leader’s lobbying activities.
Mr Cameron - who had a financial interest in Greensill - tried unsuccessfully to persuade Ministers to increase the firm's access to Government-backed loans.
He has insisted he did not break any codes of conduct or rules on lobbying, though conceded he should have communicated with the Government "through only the most formal of channels".
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck quizzed the Government on the issue in Parliament on April 13.
She asked: “Five years ago this week the former member for Bolsover (Dennis Skinner) was asked to leave the chamber for using unparliamentary language towards David Cameron regarding his personal finances.
“Does the minister now agree that Dave was and indeed remains dodgy?”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak did not attend the House of Commons to face MPs over Greensill Capital and a Covid-19 support scheme.
Labour had asked for Mr Sunak to appear before MPs to respond to an urgent question on the issue.
Business minister Paul Scully was sent to reply for the Government.
Mr Scully replied with a simple “no” to Ms Lewell-Buck’s question.
Labour shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has called for an independent probe to answer why there appeared to be “one rule” for David Cameron and Greensill Capital and another for the rest of the public when it came to lobbying for Government support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Parliament on April 13, she questioned why Mr Sunak was not in the Commons to answer an urgent question regarding the Greensill lobbying controversy.
She added: “Hundreds of millions of pounds of public money were put at risk by giving Greensill access to this (covid support) scheme.
"With Greensill’s collapse, thousands of jobs in Rotherham, Hartlepool, right across the country have been put at risk.
“Those workers and taxpayers across the country deserve answers.”
Mr Scully told the Commons: “The Chancellor wrote to (Ms Dodds) last week with a comprehensive response to her questions regarding engagement between Greensill and HM Treasury.
“And the Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman, Nigel Boardman, to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance and associated scheme in Government – especially the role Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital and set out any findings as necessary.
“And the Government recognises the interest in the matter and it is right that we now let that investigation, that review happen and do its work.
“But in line with the approach and the interest of transparency, as I say, the Chancellor has provided all of the message(s) that were sent from him to David Cameron on this matter and they relate exclusively to Greensill’s proposals for the Covid Corporate Finance Facility.”