Report: Ex-UK leader Cameron made $10M from collapsed firm

World

LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister David Cameron is reported to have made $10 million from a financial services company that he lobbied for before it collapsed earlier this year, according to a TV news program.

The BBC reported Monday that Cameron appeared to have made $4.5 million after cashing in shares from Greensill Capital in 2019. Together with his salary and bonus, he is believed to have made around $10 million before taxes for work as a part-time adviser for the company over 2 1/2 years, the broadcaster said.

The BBC’s investigative program “Panorama” said it obtained a letter between Greensill and Cameron detailing the value of his shares.

Cameron’s spokesman said the former British leader did not receive “anything like” the reported sums, and maintained that Cameron did not have any idea until December 2020 that the company was in danger of failure.

“He acted in good faith at all times, and there was no wrongdoing in any of the actions he took,” the spokesman said.

Cameron has been facing questions from lawmakers about his efforts to persuade senior government officials to invest public money in Greensill before it collapsed in March.

He began his role as an adviser to Greensill in 2018, about two years after the Conservative Party politician resigned as prime minister. The company provided so-called supply chain finance to businesses, which meant it helped ease cash flow problems by paying their invoices immediately.

Cameron’s involvement with the firm has triggered a series of inquiries into his conduct and raised questions about political lobbying in Britain. One of the companies that Greensill backed, Liberty Steel, had to seek a British government bailout following Greensill’s bankruptcy.

A committee of lawmakers cleared Cameron of breaking lobbying laws in May, but they said he showed a “significant lack of judgment.”

Opposition parties have called for tougher rules on contacts between business representatives and government officials, saying Britain’s laxly enforced lobbying regulations leave the door open to corruption.

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party, said it was “ludicrous” that Cameron “walked away” with such a large amount of money for part-time work for a company that collapsed. She criticized him for “using his Tory contacts for huge personal gain.”

“The system causes more harm than good by giving a veil of legitimacy to the rampant cronyism, sleaze and dodgy lobbying that is polluting our democracy under Boris Johnson and the Conservatives,” Rayner said.

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