Treasury’s top civil servant reveals former boss David Cameron phoned and texted him on behalf of Greensill at height of pandemic
- Sir Tom Scholar confirmed David Cameron called and texted him over Greensill
- Treasury chief said Mr Cameron had his number as he used to work for the ex-PM
- Greensill, now in administration, failed to secure the things it was lobbying for
The Treasury’s top civil servant today revealed that David Cameron called and texted him on behalf of Greensill at the height of the pandemic.
Sir Tom Scholar said the former PM contacted him repeatedly in March and April last year as the financial firm pushed to be part of a government loan scheme.
Giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, the permanent secretary said: ‘Mr Cameron spoke to me on the telephone… and sent me some text messages.’
Asked whether Mr Cameron had his number because he was the ex-PM, Sir Tom said: ‘Correct. I used to work for him.’
Sir Tom stressed the contacts were on his official mobile phone, which he was using as he was working from home at the time.
Pressed by committee chair Meg Hillier whether he had communicated with Mr Cameron ‘more readily’ because of their connection, the mandarin said: ‘If a former minister that I have worked with asked to talk to me I will always do that.’
He added: ‘When somebody that you know asks to speak to you it is quite natural to accept that.’
Meanwhile, Charles Roxburgh, second permanent secretary at the Treasury, told the hearings he had nine meetings with Greensill.
He stressed that the firm was not given access to the COVID Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF).
Sir Tom Scholar (right) said David Cameron contacted him repeatedly in March and April last year. Charles Roxburgh (left), second permanent secretary at the Treasury, told the hearing he had nine meetings with Greensill
Mr Cameron has been facing a storm for weeks over his lobbying on behalf of Greensill Capital, which collapsed into administration last month
Mr Cameron has been facing a storm for weeks over his lobbying on behalf of Greensill Capital, which collapsed into administration last month.
He was employed as an adviser and reportedly stood to make significant sums if it had floated.
He went for a ‘social’ drink with Health Secretary Matt Hancock as Greensill pushed for the NHS to use a wage-advance financing service.
Mr Cameron has denied breaking any rules, but conceded he should have made approaches to ministers using more ‘formal’ channels.
The PAC is carrying out one of a bewildering range of inquiries into lobbying revelations.
The Treasury Select Committee has ordered Mr Cameron to reveal text messages he sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak within two weeks.
The PAC is carrying out one of a bewildering range of inquiries into lobbying revelations