David Cameron used all his PR skills in front of the Treasury Committee – but only managed to tarnish his reputation further

The metaphor of politics as a sales pitch is often used, but it is unusual to see a political leader transform into an actual salesperson on live video, writes John Rentoul

Thursday 13 May 2021 17:33
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<p>David Cameron giving evidence to the Treasury Committee of MPs on Thursday</p>

David Cameron giving evidence to the Treasury Committee of MPs on Thursday

David Cameron, who had the skills to be a moderately effective prime minister, today tried to deploy those skills in defence of his personal reputation and managed only to tarnish it further.

He seemed to have two tactics: one was to plead guilty to minor offences; the other was to try to plead exceptional circumstances. “I was not employed as a lobbyist,” he said. He ended up lobbying for Greensill Capital only because there was a crisis.

He should have written a formal letter, but there was a national emergency on, so instead he bombarded ministers and officials with texts, messages and emails with “quite a lot of persistence”.

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