Chancellor fails to rule out further communications with Greensill
Chancellor Rishi Sunak today failed to deny the existence of further personal communications with David Cameron’s Greensill Capital.
In his first appearance in the Commons since the Greensill lobbying scandal unfolded, Sunak refused to answer a direct question about his own role in the return of Conservative sleaze.
Asked by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, if he had published “every communication relating to government business on Greensill, including with David Cameron”, the Chancellor failed to answer.
The exchange came after the Prime Minister’s promise to publish every ‘personal exchange’ related to Covid contracts.
Sunak was also asked about reports that he flip-flopped over support for a second national lockdown last autumn.
On 14 October 2020, Sunak described a temporary national lockdown as “a blunt instrument” that would cause “needless damage”. When asked to rule out a circuit breaker six days later he said “I agree with the Prime Minister”.
But last weekend it was reported that the Chancellor sided against the Prime Minister and came down in favour of a second national lockdown at a crunch Cabinet meeting just 10 days later.
When asked by Dodds if this change of heart was driven by science and the needs of our economy or the internal politics of the Conservative Party, Sunak claimed he was referring in the past to discussions about a circuit breaker.
The SAGE committee proposed a circuit breaker on 21 September 2020.
Speaking after Treasury Questions, Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:
“For weeks the Chancellor has been dodging scrutiny about his texts, phone calls and secret meetings with David Cameron’s Greensill Capital.
“Today I gave him a chance to set the record straight with a simple question: has he published details of all those communications? He didn’t answer.
“The Chancellor said he’d level with the British public – his failure to do so just raises further questions about his role in the return of Conservative sleaze.”