David Cameron is ‘entitled to earn a living’ says Charles Walker
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The former Tory prime minister accompanied Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Australian financier Lex Greensill at the start of last year, according to a report. The claims come days after Mr Cameron, who was paid as a lobbyist and adviser for Greensill, was cleared by a watchdog of breaking lobbying rules by asking Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support the firm through the Government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
And it comes a month after a US intelligence report found that the Crown Prince approved the murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
The report released by the Biden administration says the Crown Prince approved a plan to either “capture or kill” Khashoggi.
The kingdom’s de facto ruler has denied any role in the murder.
Meanwhile in the UK, the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists concluded that Mr Cameron was an employee of Greensill Capital so was not required to declare himself on the register of consultant lobbyists.
Greensill was the main financial backer of Liberty Steel. The finance firm’s collapse has left the steel giant facing an uncertain future.
Three sources claimed in a Financial Times report that Mr Greensill’s favourite anecdote was about his trip to the Arabian desert before Covid travel bans were imposed.
It said: “A second person who heard Greensill’s account said the Australian financier explained he bonded under the night sky with the Saudi royal, commonly known as MBS, over the fact the two men had both studied law at university.”
Mr Cameron, Greensill Capital and the Saudi Embassy all declined to comment. British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted Mr Cameron “did absolutely nothing wrong” in his dealings with Greensill Capital.
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Kwarteng said that people should now “just move on” from the issue.
He also confirmed the Government had refused a £170million bailout for Liberty, in part due to the “opaque” structure of the business and its parent company, GFG Alliance.
Labour has demanded an inquiry into the matter, with the party raising concerns that Mr Cameron, as prime minister, ordered Conservative peers to vote against proposals that would have stopped him lobbying for Greensill Capital.
Last night Labour produced a business card with Mr Greensill’s name apparently showing he was a government adviser when Mr Cameron was prime minister.
Mr Greensill was described on the card as a “senior adviser” in the Prime Minister’s Office.
It included a Downing Street email address and what appeared to be a direct line landline telephone number.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “This raises further serious questions about the special access Lex Greensill was granted to the heart of government. The public have a right to know what happened here.”
But Mr Kwarteng said: “I think people have looked at this.
“As far as I know David Cameron did absolutely nothing wrong. He was a public servant for a long time, he’s now gone into private life and was working for Greensill Capital.
“People have looked into his role, people looked into the fact that he may or may not have contacted people, officials, in the Treasury.
“As far as I know, everything was above board.
“He’s been largely exonerated and I think we should just move on.”
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