Tory MP's department denies texts with David Cameron, David Cameron releases said texts
The department for business, energy, and industrial strategy (BEIS) said it 'does not hold' any correspondence between the former business minister and former prime minister - which appears to be inaccurate
It seems the Greensill issue with the government and former prime minister David Cameron won't go away.
Conservative MP for Stratford on Avon and vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has been dragged into the Greensill saga after his previous department BEIS denied his involvement with former prime minister David Cameron.
In a response to a freedom of information request for "all correspondence between Nadhim Zahawi and David Cameron on the subject of Greensill capital and its access to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or any other Covid finance scheme", BEIS said "following a search of our records, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirms it does not hold the information you requested."
However, this doesn't seem to be entirely accurate: Cameron released texts showing exactly that yesterday.
Bit of an FOI shocker, this time from @beisgovuk
Department says “it does not hold” any correspondence between David Cameron and Nadhim Zahawi on Greensill.
Only problem is, LITERALLY YESTERDAY, Cameron himself released texts with Zahawi on Greensill.... pic.twitter.com/dvVyLgqhe3
— George Grylls (@georgegrylls) May 12, 2021
For example on 14th June 2020, Cameron texted Zahawi: "Hi there. Well done with keeping going in the midst of all this. You've been v solid on the media. Lex Greensill - who I work with - says you are being v helpful over HMT and the CBILS programme.
"Would it help if I pinged a message to Richard Sharp? I used to see him a bit in early leadership days but haven't so much recently so don't have his number."
The affair is yet another headache for the government, who have faced accusations of "Tory sleaze" from the Labour party after a string of scandals from Greensill to the Downing Street flat refurbishment.
David Cameron appears before the treasury select committee and the public accounts committee this evening - get your popcorn ready, they aren't ones to miss.