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Greensill had extraordinarily privileged access to government, says inquiry

Greensill had extraordinarily privileged access to government, says inquiry
Business
Businessman Lex Greensill had a sometimes "extraordinarily privileged" relationship with government, a Cabinet Office report has found.

The report says the Australian financier s government role gave him "a marketing platform" for his business.

Civil servants "should have considered" the conflicts of interest, it adds.

The inquiry also criticises ex-Prime Minister David Cameron for his lobbying efforts on behalf of Greensill s company, which collapsed in March.

Report author Nigel Boardman said Mr Cameron had "on occasion understated the nature of his relationship with Greensill Capital" when seeking to influence the Treasury s decisions.

The government ordered an inquiry when it emerged the former prime minister had lobbied ministers via text messages on behalf of the finance firm.

The role of Mr Greensill - who worked as an unpaid adviser to Mr Cameron when he was in Downing Street - also came under scrutiny.

Mr Greensill undertook a period of informal work with the government and was later appointed as an adviser on supply chain finance in an unpaid role from 1 January to 31 March, 2012.

Mr Boardman says this appointment appears to have been "properly made" but adds "this area of public appointments is opaque and ill-defined".

"The process should be more clearly delineated, and requires greater transparency to maintain public confidence."

At this point, Mr Greensill had not yet set up his company, but Mr Boardman says "potential conflicts of interest" such as his "proximity" to banking giant Citibank should have been considered "more fully".
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