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Former PM tells inquiry why he lobbied for failed Aussie billionaire

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Former UK prime minister David Cameron has defended his lobbying of government ministers for his previous employer, financial services firm Greensill, for access to government-backed coronavirus loans.

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Cameron appeared in front of a special finance committee, part of British parliament, on Thursday where he gave evidence during an inquiry into the demise of the business.

The former politician joined Greensill, founded by Australian banker Lex Greensill in Bundaberg in 2011, as an adviser in 2018 after leaving office in 2016.

Last April, weeks after the UK went into lockdown, Cameron began lobbying government ministers – including Chancellor Rishi Sunak – after Greensill was denied access to the loans.

But despite his attempts, Greensill, which loaned money to several companies including the UK’s third largest steel company, was rejected again and went bust in March 2021.

The UK parliament subsequently announced it was launching an inquiry into the company’s collapse after the Financial Times newspaper reported Cameron had lobbied the government for help.

During Thursday’s questioning session, Cameron insisted there was “absolutely no wrongdoing” in his actions and defended his efforts.

But he accepted that in future, former prime ministers “need to think differently and act differently” when working in their new jobs after they leave office.

“Rules alone are never enough,” he added.

During questioning, he also admitted having a “serious economic interest” in the company due to his salary and shares.

However, he insisted he was motivated by the desire to help the government and “get the finance schemes right”.

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