Now he’s even more so and, frankly, Mr Cameron only has himself to blame after warning – ironically before he became Prime Minister – that ‘lobbying’ malpractices could be as corrosive to democracy as the 2009 exposé into the misuse of Parliamentary expenses.
Of course, it falls to the inquiry being headed by the senior lawyer, Nigel Boardman, to establish how the failed firm – founded by Australian financier Lex Greensill – was able to secure Government contracts. Inevitably, this will include Mr Cameron’s text messages and emails to Government Ministers and civil servants, notably Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and whether he, and his firm, benefited from past political relationships.
Yet, while Mr Sunak denies any wrongdoing on his part after disclosing the texts that he sent in reply to the former PM, his decision to shun Commons questions on the matter was ill-advised – especially if he’s so certain that his own actions and instructions have been in keeping with the Ministerial Code.
As such, the Chancellor’s absence will intensify intrigue when the focus of attention needs to be on his job rebuilding the economy and the inquiry into how Mr Cameron took it upon himself, once he was free to pursue outside business interests two years after leaving office, to ignore his own advice, and circumvent Downing Street, while Boris Johnson was fighting for his life with Covid a year ago.
There should be a role for former premiers when they leave No 10 – and that is using their expertise to assist their successors where necessary, and even more so at times of crisis.
It’s not showing contempt for UK taxpayers by seeking preferential treatment for favoured friends which would, in most instances, be deemed to be a prima facie conflict of interest.
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