Great Britain

David Cameron bombarded ministers with texts and calls over ‘bonkers’ Greensill decision

David Cameron bombarded goverment ministers and officials with scores of texts, calls and emails over a four-month period, telling them that the failure to provide financial support to Greensill Capital was “nuts” and “bonkers”, it has been revealed.

A cache of messages released by the House of Commons Treasury Committee showed that the former prime minister and his office contacted Treasury figures on 27 separate days between 5 March and 26 June, with multiple contacts on some days.

Signing his messages “Dc” or “De”, the ex-PM begins with requests for talks and offers of lunch, but the pleas for help become increasingly lengthy and detailed after it was made clear that Greensill’s application for inclusion in the multi-billion pound Covid Corporate Financing Facility had been rejected.

In all, at least 25 texts, 12 WhatsApp messages and eight emails were sent, and 11 calls are recorded in a timeline supplied by Mr Cameron to the committee, which is conducting an investigation into the affair with company founder Lex Greensill giving evidence this afternoon.

At one point, Cameron tells the Treasury’s top civil servant Tom Scholar he will “see you with Rishi’s for an elbow bump or foot tap”, as he assures him that Greensill are eager to “help” with the government’s response to the Covid crisis.

At one point, Cameron tells the Treasury’s top civil servant Tom Scholar he will “see you with Rishi’s for an elbow bump or foot tap”, as he assures him that Greensill are eager to “help” with the government’s response to the Covid crisis.

Later in March, he raised concerns that Sky News were planning a story about Greensill request to access the asset purchase scheme. He described the possible publicity as “annoying” but later reported that the broadcaster had “agreed to hold off”.

As the decision on CCFF got nearer, Cameron became more persistent, at one stage even telling Scholar: “One last point, then I promise I will stop annoying you”.

After the application was refused, he stepped up his contacts, telling the Treasury permanent secretary on 3 April he was “genuinely baffled” by the decision and asking for a phone discussion on what he said was a “bonkers” decision.

The same day, he texted Sunak himself to brand the Treasury decision “nuts” and asking him to “call any time on this number”. 

And he also fired off texts and emails to Treasury minister Jesse Norman and 10 Downing Street special adviser Sheridan Westlake, telling him there was “a looming problem you can help solve”.

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