The former Prime Minister contacted six ministers as well as multiple senior officials to try to secure access to Government funding schemes for the firm, it has been revealed
The full scale of David Cameron’s three-month lobbying campaign to get state support for his employer Greensill has been laid bare in a dossier of texts, emails and phone calls from the former Prime Minister to senior members of the Government.
Mr Cameron sent dozens of messages to officials and ministers – including his former friend and bitter rival Michael Gove – in a desperate attempt to ensure the bank was able to take part in emergency financing schemes at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The dossier, which was published by the House of Commons Treasury committee on Tuesday, show the ex-PM made at least 47 separate attempts to lobby officials and ministers by text and email – and also held 10 phone calls with Government insiders on behalf of the firm, which has since collapsed. Details of more than 70 individual texts and emails show Mr Cameron growing increasingly frustrated as his efforts to gain support proved to be in vain.
In early March last year, he suggested meeting Treasury mandarin Sir Tom Scholar for “an elbow bump or foot tap”. After failing to make progress with civil servants and special advisers, he texted Rishi Sunak directly claiming there had been a “simple misunderstanding” and asking the Chancellor to change the rules of the funding schemes to include Greensill.
He also contacted Mr Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, despite falling out with him during the 2016 referendum campaign where the former close allies ended up on different sides. Mr Cameron wrote: “I know you are manically busy – and doing a great job, by the way (this is bloody hard and I think the team is coping extremely well). But do you have a moment for a word? I am on this number and v free.”
After speaking to the Chancellor, he responded to a message from Mr Gove apparently asking whether the conversation was a success – saying: “Sort of. He’s doing a great job. Could I call at 7?” It has also emerged that the ex-Prime Minister spoke on the phone to Matt Hancock to try and gain his support.