Sun. Sep 25th, 2022


The Real News Network

Cameron/Greensill row: The seven inquiries looking into government lobbying

3 min read

Seven inquiries have now been launched to investigate how lobbying is carried out in government and what happened in the David Cameron/Greensill row.

Three of the investigations are being held by parliamentary select committees, one by a top lawyer on behalf of Boris Johnson, one by the civil service, one by an ethics committee and another will look into the Lobbying Act.

These are the inquiries:

1) Boardman inquiry

Boris Johnson has appointed corporate lawyer Nigel Boardman to lead a government inquiry into the Greensill saga.

He will also look into how civil servant Bill Crothers was allowed to work for Greensill while still in Whitehall.

The prime minister has said Mr Boardman will have “carte blanche” and “maximum possible access” to the relevant staff and documents, but No 10 has yet to publish details of his remit.

Labour says the investigation has “all the hallmarks of a Conservative cover-up”.

2) Treasury Select Committee inquiry

After first deciding not to hold an inquiry into Greensill, members of the Treasury Select Committee changed their minds.

This parliamentary probe will focus on “the regulatory lessons from the failure of Greensill Capital and the appropriateness of HM Treasury’s response to lobbying in relation to Greensill Capital”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is likely to give evidence alongside other ministers and senior civil servants in his department.

3) Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry (PACAC)

The second Commons select committee to confirm it will hold an inquiry, the PACAC is likely to focus on lobby regulations and civil service rules.

Committee members will decide on terms of reference next week when it launches.

4) Public Accounts Committee inquiry

The third parliamentary inquiry has already invited the Treasury’s two top civil servants – Tom Scholar and Charles Roxburgh – to give evidence next Thursday.

Their probe is likely to focus on the broad issue of supply chain financing and how the government offered COVID loans to companies.

The committee intends to invite David Cameron to appear to give evidence.

5) Simon Case double jobs review

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has asked all senior civil servants to declare if they have outside jobs, or roles that could conflict with their work in government.

He said there was “acute concern” at the top of the civil service about issues that have emerged in the David Cameron lobbying affair.

Mr Case says his colleagues have until Friday to declare conflicts of interest.

The review was launched after it was revealed former top civil servant Bill Crothers started working for Greensill three months before leaving the civil service.

6) Committee on Standards in Public Life

This committee is already undertaking a “landscape review” into “the institutions, procedures and policies in place to uphold high standards of conduct”.

Its scope will be far broader than the Cameron/Greensill affair, but it is still likely to draw lessons from the scandal and propose policy change.

7) Cabinet Office review of the Lobbying Act

The Cabinet Office is currently conducting a review into the much-criticised Lobbying Act, which critics argue is too weak to be effective. The legislation was drawn up by Mr Cameron.

Source: Read Full Article