08:35 GMT19 April 2021
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    If found guilty of breaching lobbying laws, David Cameron may face a $10,276 fine or even criminal prosecution.

    Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron is being formally investigated over his alleged efforts to lobby government officials on behalf of Greensill Capital, a key financial backer of Britain's third-largest steelmaker Liberty Steel, The Times reported on Thursday. Cameron became an adviser to Greensill Capital in 2018.

    An official investigation into Cameron's actions has been confirmed by a spokesman for Harry Rich, the registrar who polices the lobbying rules.

    The Times quoted the spokesman as saying "the registrar is investigating whether David Cameron has engaged in unregistered consultant lobbying".

    The newspaper added that the ex-UK prime minister is expected to respond by insisting that he was a Greensill employee and that his actions were "outside the scope of the law" and in line with a guidance by Britain's Register of Consultant Lobbyists.

    Britain's outgoing Prime Minister, David Cameron with his wife Samantha, waves in front of number 10 Downing Street, on his last day in office as Prime Minister, in central London, Britain July 13, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Stefan Wermuth
    Britain's outgoing Prime Minister, David Cameron with his wife Samantha, waves in front of number 10 Downing Street, on his last day in office as Prime Minister, in central London, Britain July 13, 2016.

    The guidance stipulates that those who lobby on behalf of their own organisation do not need to declare themselves on the register.

    If found guilty, Cameron would face a £7,500 ($10,276) fine or, in the worst-case scenario, criminal prosecution.

    The investigation comes after the former British prime minister was accused of lobbying Westminster on behalf of Greensill Capital in order to secure the company's access to the loan schemes offered by the government to alleviate pressure on businesses. 

    Last week, the UK media cited unnamed sources as claiming that Cameron directly lobbied Chancellor Rishi Sunak to secure multimillion-pound COVID-19 loans for Greensill. The sources also argued that the ex-prime minister approached the Bank of England in an attempt to receive money for the company.

    A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in turn, insisted that the Treasury reviewed Cameron's request but decided not to support it.

    "[The] Treasury considered the representation made by the company with proper and due process and a decision was taken not to provide the support request by the company", the spokesperson pointed out.

    Labour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds reacted to the reports of Cameron's involvement by tweeting that "the government must leave no stone unturned with a full and thorough investigation". She also lambasted the fact that Greensill Capital was given open access to the Treasury.

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    Tags:
    Rishi Sunak, loans, coronavirus, COVID-19, lobbying, Investigation, David Cameron, Britain
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