David Cameron: Boris Johnson says he ‘cannot remember when I last spoke to Dave’

But the prime minister denied discussing Greensill affair with his predecessor

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Wednesday 14 April 2021 13:35
Comments
Boris Johnson says he 'cannot remember when he last spoke to Dave'

Boris Johnson has said he cannot remember when he last spoke to David Cameron as he denied discussing the Greensill affair with the former prime minister.

He told MPs: “The honest truth is… I cannot remember when I last spoke to Dave”.

But he insisted they had not talked about revelations that the ex-Tory leader lobbied the chancellor Rishi Sunak, including by text at one point, to include Greensill in the government’s Covid-19 loan scheme.

Mr Johnson also rejected Labour’s call for a wider inquiry into the lobbying scandal, claiming “it won’t do a blind bit of good”.

The prime minister ruled out a parliamentary inquiry, ahead of a Commons vote later today, as he defended an investigation he has ordered instead.

He admitted, however, that it was unclear whether or not the "boundaries" that are supposed to exist between Whitehall and business had been "properly understood".

Yesterday it emerged that the head of Whitehall procurement became an adviser to Greensill Capital while still working as a civil servant, a move that was approved by the Cabinet Office.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said he shared the "widespread concern about some of the stuff that we’re reading at the moment".

"I do think it is a good idea in principle that top civil servants should be able to engage with business and should have experience of the private sector," Mr Johnson said.

"When I look at the accounts I’m reading to date, it’s not clear that those boundaries had been properly understood and I’ve asked for a proper independent review of the arrangements that we have to be conducted by Nigel Boardman, and he will be reporting in June."

Labour claimed the Greensill affair marks the return of "Tory sleaze".

Labour’s Rachel Reeves also accused Mr Cameron of a “cynical and shabby” decision to break his silence on the scandal last weekend during a period of “national grief” after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in