Steve Baker (Con) asks about Greensill’s supply chain finance for pharmacies.
Cameron says people say this is unnecessary because the government could just pay pharmacies more quickly. But he says it is not as simple as that because sometimes early payment won’t happen. And he says although the Treasury is in theory in favour of early payment, in practice it isn’t because that involves more borrowing.
Some of the early posts have been beefed up with direct quotes. You may need to refresh the page to get the updates to appear.
Mel Stride, the chair, returns to the matter of Cameron’s pay. Was it over £1m?
Cameron says it was a generous salary, the sum someone might make working for a bank. It was “a generous salary”.
He says if he had gone to work for a large bank, like some of his predecessors, he may have made even more. But he did not want to work for a large bank. He wanted to work for fintech company.
Angela Eagle (Lab) asks if Cameron has any message for people who work at Liberty Steel?
Cameron says he wants the UK to have a steel industry. But he says that it is not simply a matter of saying that Greensill is to blame for what happened to Liberty Steel. They had a symbiotic relationship, he says.
Anthony Browne (Con) asks Cameron whether he checked what he was telling the Treasury about Greensill was correct.
Cameron says the information was checked carefully. He thinks the letter went through several drafts. He wanted to be sure he was getting it right.
Q: What would you do differently?
Cameron says, if you work for a company that goes into administration, you ask if you made the right choice. He did due diligence, he says. But he thinks about that.
With regard to contacting the Treasury, he has said a formal letter would be better, coming from a former PM. But they were in special circumstances.
Q: Anything else?
Cameron says he would like to have got to a better solution as to how to amend the CCFF more quickly.
And he says he took a time issuing his lengthy statement because he expected someone else to come out defending Greensill. He felt that was not his job, explaining why it went bust.
Cameron says the UK must continue to be a financial innovator.
There are lots of thing that banks used to do badly, that other companies are doing better. For example, remittances – money sent abroad. He says, as we improve regulation, we should not lose the ability to deliver low-cost finance more effectively.
Cameron does not deny using Greensill’s private jet to fly to holiday home in Cornwall
Q: How many times did you use Greensill plans to fly to your home in Cornwall? Is this a taxable benefit?
Cameron says he used the plane quite a lot on business visits, and “a handful of times” on other visits. All proper taxes will be dealt with, he says.
UPDATE: Cameron said:
I haven’t got a complete record of the use of the planes.
It was used quite a lot by Lex Greensill and senior managers, and sometimes myself on business visits.
I did use it a handful of times on other visits, and of course all proper taxes and all those things would be dealt with in the proper way.
Q: How much were you paid? More than Boris Johnson earned as a backbencher?
Cameron says he was well paid. He had an interest in the company. But he was not affected by the amount, so he considers that a private matter, he says.
Q: But isn’t this a matter of public interest?
Cameron says, in talking to the government, he was motivated by how to help small businesses.
Q: But if the company had floated you would have been a multi-millionaire.
Cameron says, when Lex Greensill was at the committee on Tuesday, the MPs did not ask him how much he earned.
Q: It is reported in the Wall Street Journal you made several million dollars from selling shares in 2019. Did you pay UK tax on them?
Cameron says he pays UK tax on everything. Some of his earnings are to help fund his office, and some are for personal benefit, he says.
Labour’s Angela Eagle goes next. She says the 56 messages that Cameron sent seem “more like stalking”.
I read your 56 messages and they’re more like stalking than lobbying – looking back are you at least a little bit embarrassed about the way you behaved?
Cameron says Greensill thought they had a good idea, and he wanted it in front of government.
Q: Did you ever call yourself a director of Greensill?
Cameron says there was letter that referred to a “fellow director”, but that was a mistake.
Q: Are you aware the concept of a shadow director?
Cameron says that applies to someone controlling a company who is not actually on the board. He says she was not “in any way” controlling the company.
In my case, there’s absolutely no question that I was in any way controlling this company while not being on the board, so I don’t think that applies to me at all.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.