What is Greensill Capital?
Set up by the Australian financier Lex Greensill, the firm specialises in supply-chain finance, which settles business bills immediately for a fee, assisting with the issue of late payments. Greensill began working with the NHS as part of Citibank in 2012, but then set up his own firm. This collapsed in March.
How is David Cameron involved and what did he do?
Cameron was prime minister when Greensill started to seek government work, although the Australian was reportedly first brought in by Jeremy Heywood, who was cabinet secretary at the time. But in 2016, after leaving office, Cameron became an adviser to Greensill Capital. He was given share options reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds.
Last year he sent multiple texts to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and informally phoned two other Treasury ministers, asking for Greensill Capital to get the largest possible allocation of government-backed loans under the Covid corporate financing facility, or CCFF. He also lobbied a No 10 aide, and in 2019 took Greensill to a private drink with Matt Hancock, the health secretary.
What was the government response?
Text replies from Sunak in 2019, released after a freedom of information request, show that in April last year the chancellor told Cameron he had pushed the team in the Treasury to see if he could arrange full access to CCFF loans. Other released documents show Treasury officials had a series of meetings with Greensill Capital but eventually refused it access to the CCFF. The company was later accredited to the coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme (CLBILS), handing it the ability to offer government-backed loans of up to £50m.
What else happened?
Greensill became so embedded within Camerons Downing Street; he had a No 10 business card calling him a senior adviser and was nominated by Haywood for a CBE.
The governments chief commercial officer, Bill Crothers, began working as an adviser to Greensill Capital in 2015 while still employed in the civil service. Remarkably, he was given official approval to do this. Boris Johnson has declined to rule out the possibility that more officials could have been connected to the company.
What are the concerns?
There are questions over why the government, which does not have cashflow problems, needed to use supply chain finance.
Camerons role is under particular scrutiny. He appears to have used personal contacts to seek preferential treatment for a company in which he had a financial stake.
Sunaks pledge that he had pushed the team to help also raised eyebrows.
Finally, the dual role of Crothers has prompted new worries about a revolving door between Whitehall and private companies that then benefit from government contracts.
Peter Walker Political correspondent

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