Greensill-Cameron: The corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.

483
The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government. Jim Hightower

Former Head of Procurement, became an adviser to Greensill Capital while he was a civil servant, newly published letters reveal.

The Cabinet Office gave Bill Crothers permission to take the job in September 2015, two months before he left his role in Government.

Because Mr Crothers was already working for the firm before leaving, the Cabinet Office decided Mr Crothers would not have to apply to Whitehall’s “revolving door” regulator, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA).

Following an inquiry from ACOBA chair Lord Pickles, the Cabinet Office replied: “Mr Crothers took up a role advising the Board of Greensill Capital in September 2015 whilst he was employed as a Civil Servant.

Following an inquiry from ACOBA chair Lord Pickles, the Cabinet Office replied: “Mr Crothers took up a role advising the Board of Greensill Capital in September 2015 whilst he was employed as a Civil Servant.

“This was agreed via the Cabinet Office internal conflicts of interest policy, which advises on how to address real or perceived conflicts of interest.”

They added: “Mr. Crothers then left the Cabinet Office and the Civil Service, at the end of November 2015. As he was already working in an advisory capacity to Greensill before he left the Civil Service, with this role captured under the conflicts of interest policy, no BAR application was required to be submitted to ACOBA at this time.”

Cameron joined Greensill later, in August 2018 – two years after he stepped down as Prime Minister immediately after he lost the EU referendum.

Bill Crothers, Posted on:30 July 2015

The corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore, they are the government.

-Jim Hightower

David Cameron: Rebuilding trust in politics, speech comes back to bite.

It was ironic that Cameron in 2010, shortly before he became Prime Minister while campaigning condemned the “far-too-cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money”. He was crystal clear as to what he meant by this:

“It’s a system in which too much power is concentrated in the hands of the elite and denied to the man and woman on the street. We’ve been seeing the symptoms of that for years. Decisions made behind closed doors. The Houses of Parliament bypassed and undermined.

Money buying influence. Too often just an elite few choosing the people who become MPs for many years. We can’t go on like this.

We’re just weeks away from an election. This should be the highest point in our democratic life – but never has the reputation of politics sunk so low. We’ve got to fix our broken politics and we’ve got to start fixing it now. The question is: who’s going to do it, and how are they going to do it?”

“I’m talking about lobbying – and we all know how it works. The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisors for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way. In this party, we believe in competition, not cronyism. We believe in market economics, not crony capitalism.”

‘Conflicts of Interest’

Questions have now been asked about why Bill Crothers did not consult a Whitehall watchdog before joining Greensill as a director.

understands Boris Johnson is “personally concerned” about the development and the Cabinet Office has confirmed its review into Greensill’s relationship with government officials will “consider the issues raised so the public can judge whether they were appropriately handled at the time”.

The latest revelation came following correspondence between the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) and the Cabinet Office

Lord Pickles, chair of ACOBA, has today written to Alex Chisholm, chief operating officer of the civil service, to ask why Mr Crothers did not seek advice about joining Greensill.

According to the Cabinet Office, Mr Crothers did not need to consult ACOBA on his appointment at Greensill once he had left the civil service – as is usual for former ministers and top officials taking on private-sector roles – because he “was already working in an advisory capacity to Greensill before he left the civil service”.

The Cabinet Office had allowed him to advise Greensill part-time for his final three months at the civil service.

Mr Pickles wrote: “The lack of transparency around this part-time employment with Greensill may have left the misleading impression that Mr Crothers had wilfully ignored the obligation to seek advice.”

In a letter to Mr Pickles, Mr Crothers said he did “completely respect the required process” and had been told no application was required to be submitted to ACOBA because he was already working as an adviser to Greensill.

“It was seen as a way of me transitioning back into the private sector and was supported by the Cabinet Office leadership,” Mr Crothers said in the letter.

The revelation is likely to prompt a fresh round of questions about the links between Greensill Capital and senior ministers and officials, which Boris Johnson has already ordered a top lawyer to investigate.

Over the past few weeks, Greensill Capital has come under scrutiny over allegations about links between Australian financier Lex Greensill, who owns the firm, former prime minister Mr Cameron and government ministers and officials.

Opposition Pressure

Greensill collapsed in March in one of the most astounding financial blow-ups of recent years. That has put thousands of jobs at risk at U.K. plants owned by Liberty Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, which relied on Greensill for financing.

The opposition Labour Party has ramped up pressure on Johnson’s government, after it emerged Cameron directly approached the Chancellor of the

Greensill collapsed in March in one of the most astounding financial blow-ups of recent years. That has put thousands of jobs at risk at U.K. plants owned by Liberty Steel, part of the GFG Alliance, which relied on Greensill for financing.

The opposition Labour Party has ramped up pressure on Johnson’s government, after it emerged Cameron directly approached Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and two junior Treasury ministers to lobby on behalf of Greensill as it sought access to government coronavirus aid programs.

On Wednesday, Labour plans to force a vote in the House of Commons to establish a special parliamentary committee to investigate Greensill, with the powers to call Cameron and Sunak in to provide evidence.

The government has said both Sunak and Hancock acted correctly. Cameron, who’s been cleared of breaking the rules on lobbying, “welcomes the inquiry and will be glad to take part,” a spokesman said  Monday.

Rishi Sunak summoned to parliament to explain involvement Greensill-Cameron lobbying row

Dodgy Dave: Government to investigate David Cameron’s Greensill lobbying

Dennis Skinner Was Right: Dodgy Dave’s Greensill Collapse Splatters Tory Government, As Taxpayers Face Big Losses

Support Labour Heartlands

This is a "Pay as You Feel" website. You can have access to all of our online work for free. However if you want to support what we do, you could make a small donation to help us keep writing and staying ad-free. The choice is entirely yours.

PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREE

HELP US GROW.

The future can be ours - but only if we work together to make it happen. We've been fighting to make the Labour Heartlands a better, more fairer and equal place for over two years now. With a dedicated team and the commitment from our generous supporters giving small regular donations each month, more if they can afford it, we're winning. But there is still so much to do. We're ambitious, but we can only continue to make positive change and shape our country if more of our supporters join us on this journey. If you believe in the issues we fight for please take action and join Labour Heartlands grassroots think-and-do-tank today. It will make all the difference. And then we can make all the difference for everyone.

Not funded by millionaires or advertisers.
Labour Heartlands funded by the people.