Boris Johnson has set up an independent commission of inquiry into the lobbying scandal involving finance company David Cameron and Greensil Capital.
Downing Street said Monday that the Cabinet Office has launched an extensive investigation, acknowledging that there is “significant interest in the matter.” The prime minister wanted to ensure the government was “completely transparent”
The investigation will be led by Nigel Boardman, a former partner of Slater and May and an executive director of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He is also chairman of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
A Johnson spokesman said the review would “examine the role that supply chain finance and Greensil have played” as well as “how the agreements were secured”. Cameron’s involvement in the business, including personal lobbying, will be investigated by the boardman. “
Boardman, an experienced lawyer, was chosen by No. 10 as “an experienced person to lead this independent review.” It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post, but officials say he will have access to official documents.
The terms of the official reference for the boardman investigation will be released Monday. Downing Street did not say when the review would be published, but a spokesman said Johnson wanted the review to be “complete and immediate.”
Johnson’s predecessor but a Cameron on Downing Street’s move to commission an inquiry into his behavior is unprecedented in recent times. Whitehall internal officials were also surprised by the massive dispatch of the investigation, with one official describing it as “somewhat noisy”.
The latest major commission of inquiry set up by Johnson was to investigate allegations of bullying against Home Secretary Preeti Patel. The Prime Minister did not agree with his own independent adviser on the investigation and ministerial criteria and decided to dismiss Patel.
The opposition Labor Party accused the Conservatives of “another cover-up” and said the party “cannot be trusted to identify their own housework again”.
Rachel Reeves, the minister in the shady cabinet office, said: “It was another conservative government, as well as an investigation into the alleged bullying by Preity Patel, as well as expecting the British people to behave badly in the long grass.”
He added: “We need an answer right now about Greensil – that means the key players in this bigotry scandal, like David Cameron, Ishii Sunak and Matt Hancock, will appear in Parliament as soon as possible to answer the question.”
Johnson and Cameron have long-standing rivalries related to their studies at Eaton College and Oxford University. A senior Tory MP said: “Boris is taking his revenge on Dave.”
Another former Conservative minister said: “I wouldn’t like anything other than throwing Boris Dave under the bus.”