6 probes facing the Tories following the David Cameron lobbying scandal


David Cameron’s lobbying activities on behalf of collapsed firm Greensill Capital have sent waves through Westminster.

No fewer than six inquiries have been launched into aspects of the Greensill affair, ranging from the demise of the firm and Covid financing structures to lobbying rules and conflicts of interest in Whitehall.

The probes include an independent review, several parliamentary inquiries and a reckoning for civil servants moonlighting in the private sector.

And there could be more to come as the scandal rumbles on, threatening to engulf both the Government and the civil service.

The ex-PM could be called on to give evidence, along with senior ministers such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who Mr Cameron privately texted to ask for support for Greensill.



Boris Johnson ordered a review into the Greensill affair, which may include David Cameron's lobbying activities
Boris Johnson ordered a review into the Greensill affair, which may include David Cameron’s lobbying activities

What are the different inquiries?

The Downing Street review

Boris Johnson has ordered lawyer Nigel Boardman to probe the behind-the-scenes links between Lex Greensill and his firm Greensill Capital with the Government.

The independent probe, which is due to report back in June, will also look at use of supply chain finance – where companies can get cash from banks to pay their suppliers quickly – in Government.

The Treasury Committee

The influential Commons committee will focus on learning regulatory lessons from the collapse of Greensill Capital.

It will also look at how the Treasury responded to Mr Cameron’s lobbying efforts – and could summon Chancellor Rishi Sunak to give evidence.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak could be asked to give evidence
Chancellor Rishi Sunak could be asked to give evidence

The Public Accounts Committee

MPs on the PAC, which examines value for money in Government, will dig into supply chain financing and Covid corporate financing following the row over Greensill Capital.

The committee plans to invite David Cameron to give evidence, as well as senior Treasury officials Charles Roxburgh and Tom Scholar.

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Tory chairman William Wragg announced his committee would mount a full inquiry into “topical matters around Greensill”, which will most likely examine lobbying rules.

Mr Wragg referenced Line of Duty when he told MPs on Wednesday that his committee would be “AC-12 of Whitehall”.



Tory MP William Wragg referenced BBC drama Line of Duty as he said his committee could be like the "AC-12 of Whitehall"
Tory MP William Wragg referenced BBC drama Line of Duty as he said his committee could be like the “AC-12 of Whitehall”

The Whitehall review

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case ordered civil servants to urgently declare if they were moonlighting in the private sector after it emerged that a senior official had worked for Greensill while on the Government payroll.

Mr Case told permanent secretaries, who head up Government departments, to root out any conflicts of interests by the end of the week.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life

Former MI5 boss Lord Evans, who heads up the standards committee, said it would take submissions about the scandal as part of a broader review of standards.

In a letter to Labour, Lord Evans made it clear that the watchdog did not investigate individuals such as Mr Cameron.

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What has been the fate of other inquiries?

Ministers sometimes promise inquiries to take the heat out of political rows.

Sometimes they end up taking years or simply disappear without trace.

Here are some recent inquiries that didn’t go to plan.

The Priti Patel bullying inquiry

Boris Johnson ordered his standards adviser Sir Alex Allan to look into allegations of bullying by Priti Patel.

Sir Alex found that the Home Secretary had breached the ministerial code with her behaviour but Mr Johnson overruled him. He later resigned.



Boris Johnson overruled his standards adviser over allegations of bullying against Home Secretary Priti Patel
Boris Johnson overruled his standards adviser over allegations of bullying against Home Secretary Priti Patel

The lockdown leak inquiry

A Whitehall probe was launched last year after proposals for the second national lockdown were leaked to the media in October.

An inquiry was launched to find the culprit but the probe has either failed to find the leaker or the result has been kept quiet.

The Tory racism inquiry

The Conservative Party started a probe into racism within its ranks after Boris Johnson committed to an inquiry in the 2019 leadership contest.

The inquiry, which has been criticised for being too limited in scope, has not been published nearly two years on.



Boris Johnson pledged a review into racism within the Tory party
Boris Johnson pledged a review into racism within the Tory party

The Government racism inquiry

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was set up in June last year following the waves of protests over the death of George Floyd in the US.

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But its report sparked a major backlash after concluding the country did not have an issue with institutional racism, with campaigners branding it a “whitewash”.



The PM has promised an inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic
The PM has promised an inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 inquiry

Boris Johnson has promised an official examination of his Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But he won’t say when it will take place or what the terms will be.

The HS2 review

Mr Johnson commissioned a review in 2019 into whether and how the HS2 rail project should go ahead.

The probe, which eventually came back and said the high speed rail line should be built, was seen by critics as an attempt to appease rural Tories during the leadership contest.





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