David Cameron is ‘entitled to earn a living’ says Charles Walker
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The former Prime Minister has faced backlash after texting to ministers and officials in Government to promote the services of Greensill Capital, a now-defunct finance firm that was employing him as an adviser. They included messages to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, and senior officials at the Treasury and the Bank of England, as well as a call to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Mr Cameron’s efforts to persuade ministers to purchase the firm’s ‘Earnd’ service has led to accusations of sleaze at the heart of Government with MPs launching two separate inquiries into the matter.
Giving an opening statement to MPs on the Treasury select committee this afternoon, Mr Cameron said: “This is a painful day coming back to a place that I love and respect so much, albeit virtually, but in these circumstances.
“I have had plenty of time to reflect on what has happened.
“I welcome this inquiry and its related reviews, and I believe there are important lessons to be learned.”
He added it was “the greatest honour of my life to be Prime Minister”.
The resident of No10 said he had ever intended to lobby those in Government on behalf of Greensill but had done so because he thought it had “good solutions” to issues facing the public sector.
He denied breaking any rules but admitted he acted inappropriately as a former Prime Minister.
He said: “Rules alone are never enough.
“We learnt that in this place over so many issues, personal conduct and codes of behaviour, and how such conduct and behaviour both appears and can be perceived, these things matter too.
“I completely accept that former prime ministers are in a different position to others because of the office that we held and the influence that continues to bring.
“We need to think differently and act differently.”
More to follow…
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