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BORIS JOHNSON admitted during Prime Minister’s Questions today that it is not clear whether the boundaries between civil servants and business have been “properly understood.”
Amid the ongoing Greensill scandal, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked the Prime Minister if he believes that the current lobbying rules are fit for purpose.
Mr Johnson responded that, while he shares the widespread concern, he thinks civil servants engaging with business and experiencing the private sector “is a good idea in principle.”
He said: “When I look at the accounts I’m reading to date, it’s not clear that those boundaries had been properly understood and I’ve asked for a proper independent review of the arrangements that we have to be conducted by Nigel Boardman, and he will be reporting in June.”
Sir Keir said that every day there is further evidence of sleaze at the heart of the government. He asked whether any other government officials had commercial links to Greensill, to which Mr Johnson replied that any information “should, of course,” be made available to Mr Boardman.
The Labour leader said that an “overhaul of the whole broken system” is needed and he pressed Mr Johnson to back Labour’s Commons motion for a parliamentary inquiry into the Greensill scandal.
Sir Keir also accused Mr Johnson of blocking a proper inquiry, adding: “The Greensill scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Dodgy contracts, privileged access, jobs for their mates, this is the return of Tory sleaze.
“It’s now so ingrained in this Conservative government, we don’t need another Conservative Party appointee marking their own homework.”
MPs rejected Labour’s bid to establish a committee to investigate the lobbying of government by 357 votes to 262.
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