James O'Brien hears 'astonishing' insight into David Cameron lobbying controversy

13 April 2021, 15:37

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment journalist Jim Pickard gave what James O'Brien described as an "astonishing" insight into the David Cameron lobbying controversy.

The exchange between the pair comes after Downing Street has confirmed that an independent investigation will be carried out into David Cameron's efforts to lobby for Greensill Capital.

Mr Cameron has faced criticism after it emerged that he privately lobbied ministers, including though texting Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to win access to an emergency coronavirus loan scheme for his employer, financier Lex Greensill.

Mr Pickard, who is the Financial Times' Chief Political Correspondent, told James that David Cameron's lobbying "is a big story in and of itself".

However, he predicted that in the future the story would "move onto not just Mr Cameron, but also these slightly unsavoury people he was representing".

He suggested that the story would progress in this way when, among other things, "people get their heads around what has been at Greensill and how it has financed the expansion of Liberty Steel and various other companies owned by [tycoon] Sanjeev Gupta".

Mr Pickard went on to say that he wouldn't be surprised if Mr Cameron "never fully got his head around" what he was doing for Greensill.

The former Prime Minister - who was in Downing Street from 2010 to 2016 - said in a statement: "In my representations to Government, I was breaking no codes of conduct and no government rules."

He said that "ultimately" the outcome of his efforts to get Greensill's proposals included in the Government's Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) was that "they were not taken up".

"So, I complied with the rules and my interventions did not lead to a change in the Government's approach to the CCFF," he added.

"However, I have reflected on this at length. There are important lessons to be learnt.

"As a former Prime Minister, I accept that communications with government need to be done through only the most formal of channels, so there can be no room for misinterpretation."

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak told to 'explain himself' in Parliament over Cameron lobbying texts
READ MORE: Greensill: Gordon Brown says ex-PMs should be banned from lobbying for 5 years

Sadiq Khan was asked if the Met would have ignored the Sarah Everard vigil if it was BYOB

'If the Everard vigil was BYOB, would the have Met ignored it?'

James O'Brien on choices facing Boris Johnson over No10 booze-up

James O'Brien's analysis of choices facing Boris Johnson over No10 booze-up

James O'Brien said the Prime Minister's regime reminded him of a video game.

James O'Brien's powerful analogy of Boris 'sucking the souls' of those closest to him

James O'Brien's powerful take on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

James O'Brien's merciless take on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

'January 6 is just the beginning'

Capitol riots not culmination of Trump years but 'just the beginning', says journalist

James O'Brien's utter disbelief that PM 'forgot' about Whatsapp messages

Flat saga: James O'Brien's utter disbelief that PM 'forgot' about WhatsApp messages

'Come and spend a shift with me': Paramedic hits out at 'pontificating' journalists

Paramedic breaks down explaining she is 'on the brink of nervous collapse'

Bristol's slavery 'cancer' was 'surgically removed' by Colston Four, says witness David Olusoga

Bristol's slavery 'cancer' was 'surgically removed' by Colston Four, says historian David Olusoga

James O'Brien's passionate take on defining patriotism

James O'Brien's passionate take on defining patriotism

James O'Brien: Uproar over Tony Blair's knighthood 'silly'

James O'Brien: Uproar over Tony Blair's knighthood 'silly'

James O'Brien moved by grieving father's response to Cummings' claims

Best of 2021: James O'Brien moved by grieving father's response to Cummings' claims

Best of 2021: Matt Hancock's pub landlord 'sets the record straight'

Best of 2021: Matt Hancock's pub landlord 'sets the record straight'

James O'Brien's best moments of 2021

James O'Brien's best moments of 2021

Trump fan hangs up after being asked question by James O'Brien

Best of 2021: Trump fan hangs up after being asked question by James O'Brien

James O'Brien reaction to PM's decision to delay Covid measures

James O'Brien reaction to PM's decision to delay Covid measures

James O'Brien: 'It's not a flipping work meeting, it's a flipping party'

James O'Brien: 'It's not a flipping work meeting, it's a flipping party'