‘It won’t do a blind bit of good’: Boris Johnson rejects full inquiry into Greensill scandal

Sir Keir Starmer said the David Cameron lobbying scandal is just “the tip of the iceberg” and there was “sleaze” at the heart of government, as Boris Johnson rejected the Labour leader’s call for a parliamentary inquiry.

Sir Keir insisted an “overhaul of the whole broken system” was needed during a fiery PMQs encounter. Mr Johnson claimed “we’re having a proper independent review” – and said he “cannot remember” when he last spoke to Mr Cameron.

And while MPs voted down a move by the opposition to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal, the vote was followed by an announcement the Commons Treasury committee will investigate the response of ministers, including the chancellor Rishi Sunak, to lobbying by former prime minister.

It follows the shock development that one of Mr Cameron’s top civil servants, Bill Crothers, was given permission to work part-time at Greensill while still working for the government.

It comes as the EU parliament has once again refused to set a date to ratify the Brexit trade deal. Group leaders want reassurances from Mr Johnson’s government the deal is being implemented appropriately.


Second inquiry into Greensill lobbying scandal announced

A second inquiry has been announced into the Greensill lobbying scandal threatening to engulf Boris Johnson’s government.

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Vincent Wood14 April 2021 17:37


Home Office unlawfully tried to deport key witness to detainee death before inquiry, court rules

The Home Office unlawfully tried to deport a key witness to the death of a man in immigration detention before they were able to give testimony, a court has ruled.

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Vincent Wood14 April 2021 17:34


Boris Johnson condemns International Criminal Court Palestine investigation as ‘attack on Israel’

Boris Johnson has condemned an International Criminal Court investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories as an “attack on Israel”, sparking criticism.

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Vincent Wood14 April 2021 17:09


Ministers should step down if code breached over Greensill – Douglas Ross

There are “serious, legitimate concerns” about the Greensill lobbying saga and any Government minister who breached the ministerial code should resign, the Scottish Conservative leader has said.

Douglas Ross welcomed Downing Street’s announcement of a review into how the collapsed financial firm Greensill Capital was given Government support amid lobbying by former prime minister David Cameron.

Commenting on the Greensill lobbying affair, Mr Ross told the PA news agency: “I think it was absolutely right that the Prime Minister has instructed an independent inquiry into this and he has said that that inquiry will be able to look at all aspects where there are currently concerns.

“I think people do raise serious, legitimate concerns on this issue and that’s why it’s great that an independent inquiry looks into it, looks into all the evidence and reports back.”

Asked if he would call for the resignation of chancellor Rishi Sunak – or any other minister – if they had not followed the rules for ministers’ behaviour, Mr Ross said: “Of course we have to look at what the inquiry comes back with, but if someone has breached the ministerial code that is an extremely serious issue, and they would have to consider their position, absolutely.”

Vincent Wood14 April 2021 16:46


Tory MPs vote down Labour’s attempt to force parliamentary inquiry into Greensill lobbying scandal

Conservative MPs have voted down an attempt by Labour to force a parliamentary inquiry into the Greensill lobbying scandal.

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Vincent Wood14 April 2021 16:18


Labour’s lobbying committee motion voted down

The Labour motion on a committee to investigate government lobbying has been voted down with 262 in favour and 357 opposed

Vincent Wood14 April 2021 16:13


Liverpool Council domestic abuse chief probed over ‘misogynistic’ mother-in-law tweet

A senior Liverpool City Council director who leads the authority’s domestic abuse strategy is being investigated after posting a “misogynistic” tweet joking about his mother-in-law drowning.

Steve Reddy, who is in charge of children’s services, has faced calls to stand down after he joked about his partner’s mum dying and ordering a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt.

The Independent’s north of England correspondent Colin Drury reports

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:59


No10 defends film about UK’s vaccine roll-out

Downing Street has defended the production of a film about the UK’s vaccine programme.

Last month a trailer was posted online on March 10 for the film, called A Beacon Of Hope: The UK Vaccine Story. No10 has refused to say how much the film cost or how much was paid for the music in the trailer.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “the documentary will be published” and insisted “this was produced entirely in house by No 10 staff as part of their work” and within the existing budget for the digital communications team.

Any costs for the musical soundtrack would have come from within that budget, the spokesman said.

Asked whether it was right that taxpayers’ money was spent on a promotional film, the spokesman said: “It’s important that the public are able to understand this important public health issue about the vaccine rollout.”

The 51-second trailer features interviews with familiar faces including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and the full version is thought to be around 30 minutes long.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:27


‘We don’t know who is meeting whom’: What David Cameron said about lobbying in 2010

In 2010 prior to becoming prime minister, David Cameron used a speech to predict that “the next big scandal” would involve corporate lobbying.

Just 10 years later his relationship with Greensill Capital and role in lobbying ministers has come under intense scrutiny, with MPs set to vote on establishing a wider-parliamentary inquiry into the allegations this afternoon.

Matt Mathers has the details.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:17


Head of lobbying inquiry is paid as a non-executive director at BEIS

In a new twist to the saga of the supposedly “independent” head of the Greensill lobbying inquiry, it has now been revealed that he is paid as a non-executive director of the business department.

The appointment of top lawyer Nigel Boardman – the son of a former Tory Cabinet minister – was already under fire because his legal firm previously lobbied against limited curbs to lobbying rules.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said he would not be a director while the inquiry was carried out, but agreed that meant he was not being paid “from now onwards”.

It leaves open the likelihood that he will once again be paid by the government once his work is completed – further fuelling criticism that he is not an independent figure.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:02

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