The Guardian

Cameron lobbied Tory director at Lloyds over Greensill deal

- Rupert Neate

David Cameron lobbied a director of Lloyds Banking Group, to whom the former prime minister had given a peerage, to reverse the bank’s decision to withdraw support from Greensill Capital, which it later did.

Cameron appealed to James Lupton, a Conservati­ve peer who had served as party treasurer and donated more than £3m to the Tories, to urge the bank not to withdraw funding from Greensill’s supply chain financing of NHS pharmacies.

After his lobbying of Lord Lupton in January, the bank reconsider­ed its decision and agreed to continue providing financial support to Greensill, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the story.

Greensill, which paid Cameron millions of pounds as an adviser, collapsed into administra­tion two months later.

A spokespers­on for Lloyds said: “The decision to continue this facility in January 2021 was made on the usual commercial basis and in recognitio­n of the importance of maintainin­g this facility for the NHS during the height of the pandemic.

“This programme ended following the administra­tion of Greensill, with the bank repaid in full. There were no losses to the NHS, the pharmacies supplying them or Lloyds Banking Group.”

Cameron’s evidence before MPs investigat­ing the collapse suggested he was aware Greensill may have been in financial trouble at the time of his appeal to Lloyds. He told MPs on the Treasury select committee that he first “became concerned that the company might be in serious financial difficulty” in December 2020.

Cameron and Greensill did not respond to requests for comment. Lupton could not be reached for comment, and Lloyds declined to comment on his behalf.

The FT said Lupton was transparen­t with Lloyds’ board about his relationsh­ip with Cameron in making the case for continuing the relationsh­ip with Greensill. However, the newspaper quoted bank insiders describing the interventi­on as “surprising and unwelcome”.

Cameron’s lobbying of members of the cabinet and government officials on behalf of the bank, in which he held a large financial interest, has tarnished his career since leaving Downing Street in 2016.

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