Former prime minister David Cameron is currently embroiled in a lobbying scandal involving government contracts secured for Greensill Capital. While he tries to swat away the controversy that has taken down multiple senior government officials, fresh media reports reveal he lobbied then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in 2017 to secure government approval for a £718 million Chinese investment deal.
According to correspondence obtained by The Observer and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Cameron held a meeting with Hammond in 2017 to discuss the formation of the £718 million UK-China Fund, of which, he was set to become the vice-chairman. The meeting was scheduled just 15 months after he resigned following his defeat in the Brexit referendum. Present UK rules forbid former prime ministers from lobbying the government for two years.
In a 2018 letter to then-shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Labour MP Peter Dowd, Hammond reportedly wrote that in the meeting, Cameron had disclosed “his plans to create a commercial UK-China fund to invest in innovative, sustainable and consumption-driven growth opportunities.” The letter also revealed that the former PM was successful in securing general government approval of the fund.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Cameron said that he “has never lobbied the UK government about the UK-China fund and now work or tentative discussions about the fund took place while he was prime minister. These discussions were not in any way seeking financial support for the fund, but merely to gain support for the concept of a bilateral fund.”