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THE Greensill scandal shows sleaze in the Tory Party is “bigger than ever,” Labour said today, as a Cabinet minister attempted to defend David Cameron’s actions.
Environment Secretary George Eustice claimed that the former prime minister did nothing wrong when he lobbied for failed firm Greensill Capital, asserting that he had “meticulously observed the rules.”
Mr Cameron’s actions were “acceptable,” he told Sky News.
Mr Eustice, who was a member of Mr Cameron’s press team when he was leader of the opposition, added that while “tweaks” were needed, current lobbying rules were “pretty good.”
Labour dismissed the minister’s claims today, saying that sleaze in the Conservative Party was “back and … bigger than ever.”
Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves said: “Having failed to deflect the blame, the government’s latest approach appears to be to shrug their shoulders and say: ‘Scandal? What scandal?’
“We don’t need the ‘tweaks’ Eustice said they might consider today; we need to tackle Tory sleaze with a full, independent, transparent inquiry — and we need stronger measures to put integrity and honour back into the heart of government.”
The scandal broke after it emerged that the former PM had sent texts to Chancellor Rishi Sunak pressing the government to support the struggling business during the pandemic.
Mr Cameron began working for the financial services provider, owned by Lex Greensill, in 2018 shortly after leaving office. He reportedly holds millions of pounds’ worth of shares in the firm, which has now collapsed.
Since the texts emerged, other ministers, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, have also become embroiled in the scandal.
Earlier on Sunday, Labour called on the Chancellor to “stop hiding” and “take responsibility” after he failed to turn up in Parliament to answer urgent questions on the affair, sending a junior minister instead.
In a letter to Mr Sunak, shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds wrote: “The Chancellor is running scared of scrutiny over his role in the Greensill affair, but the public demand answers.”
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