Rishi Sunak has been asked to look just before parliament tomorrow to explain why he granted Greensill Cash access to a COVID bank loan plan after David Cameron lobbied him.
Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds was granted an urgent question about the ordeal several hours following Boris Johnson purchased an unbiased assessment into the now-collapsed finance firm’s actions in authorities and the part its founder, Lex Greensill, performed.
The chancellor does not have to appear in parliament himself and could send a Treasury minister to answer questions Labour has about the situation
The government has announced a review covering David Cameron’s efforts to lobby ministers on behalf of finance firm Greensill Capital.
The inquiry will be led by Nigel Boardman, a former partner at Slaughter and May and a non-executive director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He is also chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
Johnson’s spokesperson said the review would examine “issues of supply chain finance and the role Greensill played” as well as “the way contracts were secured. Engagement with businesses, including the private lobbying by Cameron, will be covered by the Boardman inquiry.”
Ms Dodds said she will demand answers over the lack of transparency over Mr Sunak’s conversations with Mr Cameron about Greensill and the “alternative” he “pushed the team to explore” in one of his texts to Mr Cameron.
She also wants to know about discussions he held with the British Business Bank about whether Greensill Capital should get access to CLBILS after it was rejected for CCFF.
The shadow chancellor will also ask if accreditation criteria for the CLBILS scheme was changed to allow Greensill Capital to it and why the firm was the “only supply chain firm” accredited to the scheme “after it got so much access to the Treasury”.
Labour said Mr Sunak has been absent from parliament since 9 March.
Ms Dodds said: “The chancellor can’t keep ducking scrutiny of his decision to put hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer money in the hands of an unregulated lending firm with links to a former Conservative PM.
“That’s why we have asked him to come to Parliament to explain himself.
“We need to know what he “pushed” his officials to do to help Greensill access one of his COVID loan schemes. And we need to know why he then simply opened the door for them to lend through another one.
“Public money was put at risk by the Conservatives’ crony connections to Greensill Capital. That’s why we urgently need a full, transparent and thorough investigation into this affair.”