Monday 29 March 2021 / 12:41 PM Rachel Reeves

Cameron forced Conservatives to vote against Labour amendments that would have caught him out

Cameron forced Conservatives to vote against Labour amendments that would have caught him out

 

Labour today highlights how then-Prime Minister David Cameron ordered his own Conservative peers to vote against Labour plans that would have stopped him lobbying for Greensill Capital.

 

The collapse of Greensill has put jobs in Britain’s steel industry at risk and left the British taxpayer exposed to its losses.

 

But this could have been avoided had Conservatives supported Labour changes to the Lobbying Act in 2014 that would have made it more difficult for Cameron to ‘open doors’ across Whitehall for the firm.

 

The amendments would have increased transparency and scrutiny around in-house lobbying, including David Cameron’s activities for Greensill. Instead, they were voted down by Conservative peers.

Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves MP, said that the revelations are “the latest example of how Conservative cronyism has weakened our economy, costing jobs and taxpayer money.”

 

Cameron has come under fire in recent weeks as the extent of his lobbying for Greensill has become clear. He reportedly boasted that he stood to make $60 million from its listing.

 

The amendments were moved by the Labour leader of the House of Lords at the time, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 7th January 2014, who said in her speech on the Bill: “in Committee I asked the Government to look at the least bureaucratic way of extending the scope of those lobbied, but they do not seem to have taken the opportunity to find a solution.”

 

Lord Hardie also moving the amendment spoke in the debate, saying: “it does not apply to lobbyists employed by those firms of consultant lobbyists, nor does it apply to national or multinational companies or organisations which seek to exert influence on the Government and choose to do so by using in-house lobbyists.

 

“The public want to know who is engaged in lobbying the Government and are not interested in whether the lobbying is undertaken by consultants or in-house lobbyists. In short, the decision to restrict registration to consultancies is fundamentally flawed.”

 

The amendment was defeated by 218 votes to 185.

 

Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves MP, said:

 

“It is shocking that a former Conservative Prime Minister not only boasted about how much money he would make from Greensill Capital, but also gave them an open door to government, starting with profiting off our NHS and ending with steelworkers’ jobs at risk.

 

“Voting down the very measures that could have stopped Cameron’s poor and hypocritical conduct in the first place is disgraceful. It’s the latest example of how Conservative cronyism has weakened our economy, costing jobs and taxpayer money.”