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Does David Cameron think we were born yesterday?

As David Cameron tries to wriggle out of lobbying allegations, there’s only one way to explain it, writes Chris Blackhurst

Friday 13 August 2021 21:30 BST
Without Cameron’s intervention there would be no deal – not in that timeframe
Without Cameron’s intervention there would be no deal – not in that timeframe (Reuters)

They must suppose we were born yesterday. How else to explain the arrogance of David Cameron, the contempt with which he treats us as he tries to wriggle from the latest revelations about his lobbying activities? Cameron is a paid adviser to Illumina, a US biotech company that provides gene-sequencing services, used to screen DNA for genetic illnesses.

In April 2019, he wrote to Matt Hancock, the then health secretary, about a conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire. “I understand Jay [Flatley, then executive chair of Illumina] has sent this direct to your office, but I wanted to i) ensure that you had seen it personally; and ii) strongly endorse their invitation to this significant conference.”

This was Cameron, Hancock’s former boss, leaning on Hancock. To say “no” to the letter, sent from the taxpayer-funded office Cameron receives as an ex-prime minister, would be the same as saying: “I don’t care what you think, I’m not going.” That’s hard for someone who used to work for him, was promoted by him. It would cause offence. Not clever, either, given the fragility of high office in British politics – who knows, Hancock might require a favour from Cameron one day.

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