Three men in cahoots? First, David Cameron, Prime Minister from 2010-2016, since when he seems to split his time between writing unwanted memoirs and lobbying his old pals. Next, Lex Greensill, an Australian banker, who ran his own enterprise, Greensill Capital, and worked as an unpaid adviser to Cameron. The third? Enter Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford on Avon and now vaccines minister.
Cameron and Greensill in cahoots
The Greensill scandal (wikipedia) has been a thorn in the Tories’ side since it broke a few months ago. It comes on top of other scandals like test and trace and the PPE contracts as well as Hancock’s half hour with his new partner, and round the world climate change jetting by Alok Sharok .
Having had Greensill as an unpaid advisor until 2016 Cameron, after he resigned as PM, awaited the two years needed and became an advisor and shareholder of Greensill Capital in 2018.
In 2020, before the company collapsed, Cameron saw his chance to support Greensill Capital by posting emails to a great variety of cronies including Nadhim Zahawi, and to one of our regional MPs encouraging them to change rules so Greensill could get Covid-19 loans.
Zahawi also in cahoots
Zahawi is no stranger to questions about his ethics, with his riding school receiving £5822 of taxpayers’ money for electricity. Eventually he returned part of the cost when things got too hot.
He was also a diner at the Presidents Club charity fundraiser on 23 Jan 2018 where the hostesses were clad in skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels. At an after-party many hostesses were groped, sexually harassed, and propositioned.
So there is interest for constituents of Zahawi in his links with David Cameron and Lex Greensill.
Zahawi was also sent messages similar to those received by Chancellor Rishi Sunak from David Cameron to support lobbying Lex.
More from Central Bylines
And now, like others with questions over their activities, it seems Zahawi has been keen to lose some of his texts.
The select committee on the lobbying scandal knew that Zahawi had received a text from Cameron. Messages released to a hearing into the lobbying scandal show that Cameron did in fact text Zahawi at one point, thanking him for being very helpful during his efforts to lobby the Treasury on behalf of Greensill. A sample message from Cameron reads:
“Hi there. Well done with keeping going in the midst of all of this. You’ve been very solid on the media. Lex Greensill – who I work with – says you are being very helpful over HMT and CBILS (coronavirus business interruption loan scheme).”
So our MP is deleting data which is perhaps not for him to destroy. Surely all messages relating to government business should be kept on record?
Getting away with cronyism
The Guardian reported that the Treasury select committee declared it was ‘inappropriate of the ex prime minister to send 62 messages to former colleagues’ for a bank in which he held interests.
Each of the three men involved in the Greensill issue has money and power always in mind. Each have millions yet always want more.
It seems that any old Tory can get away with cronyism, whether they are a former PM or a current minister.