UK MPs Urge Lobbying Crackdown After Greensill Affair

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UK MPs urge lobbying crackdown after Greensill affair

Lobbying rules in the UK should be strengthened, British lawmakers concluded in a report Tuesday into the collapse of finance group Greensill Capital

London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Jul, 2021 ) :Lobbying rules in the UK should be strengthened, British lawmakers concluded in a report Tuesday into the collapse of finance group Greensill Capital.

It comes despite former prime minister David Cameron insisting he acted appropriately in controversial lobbying for Greensill.

The former Conservative leader, who was an adviser to the company, had in May appeared before a parliamentary committee probing his lobbying ahead of the loan company's collapse two months earlier.

While the cross-party Treasury Committee concluded in its report "that Mr Cameron did not break the rules governing lobbying by former ministers... there is a strong case for strengthening them".

Cameron, in power from 2010 to 2016, had faced a series of damaging claims he improperly and excessively lobbied former government colleagues seeking support for the stricken London-headquartered company early in the pandemic.

Documents published by the committee showed that the ex-prime minister and his office staff had sent ministers and officials dozens of emails, texts and WhatsApp messages last year relating to Greensill, bypassing official channels.

One day saw 16 messages sent to six different officials or minister.

Responding to the committee's findings Tuesday, Cameron said he accepted "that communications of this nature should be done in future through only the most formal of channels.

"I agree that the guidance on how former ministers engage with government could be updated." Greensill's spectacular implosion is threatening thousands of jobs at companies around the world that relied on its financing for their supply chains, including steelmaker GFG Alliance.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office is meanwhile probing GFG, focusing partly on links with its former financier.

Greensill Capital, which bypassed strict regulations forced upon traditional banks, specialised in short-term corporate loans via a complex and opaque business model that ultimately sparked its declaration of insolvency in March.

Quizzed also by the Treasury Committee, Australian financier Lex Greensill said he took full responsibility for the collapse of his company but refused to be drawn over the company's links to UK government lobbying.