Greensill: James O'Brien caller can't find Labour equivalent after claiming 'all MPs are the same'

14 April 2021, 15:30

By Sam Sholli

James O'Brien took on a caller who claimed that "all MPs are the same" in response to David Cameron's Greensill lobbying scandal, but when challenged could not find an equivalent example from any other political party.

Mr Cameron has come under scrutiny after privately lobbying ministers and even texting Chancellor Rishi Sunak in an attempt to win access to emergency Covid funds for Greensill Capital, a company in which he had significant shares.

A further revelation into the controversy emerged last night, as one of the country's top civil servants was allowed by the Cabinet Office to work for the firm Greensill Capital while maintaining his role in the civil service.

Downing Street has since announced an independent review into Mr Cameron's behaviour, with Labour calling for a Parliamentary committee to tackle cronyism.

Reflecting on the Greensill scandal, Paul in Romford told James: "I think the line has been crossed by both sides...years ago."

During the exchange, James told Paul: "I'd love to come up with a parallel that involves a Labour politician and you've told me you could, so go on."

Read more: Greensill: 'Sleazy' David Cameron acted just 'to line his pockets', says MP Rachel Reeves

Paul responded: "No, I can't say I can come up with a parallel with regards to that. But for me it's more an overall view."

James pushed him to come up with an answer and Paul struggled to give another suggestion.

James then replied: "But for me it's not. For me, it's about this particular conduct being particularly egregious and I'd love to hear of an example that would sort of prove that it's just as likely to happen in any other party as it is in the party of sleaze."

The LBC presenter added: "I understand what your feelings are. You feeling is that they're as bad as each other. But I'm just looking for some evidence of that."

He continued to ask Paul where his feelings that "all politicians are the same" has come from, if there are no finite examples in any other parties.

James went on to say: "And that is in a way part of the problem, isn't it, Paul?"

"When I [ask how they] get away with it, the answer is people like you have been persuaded that the other lot are just as bad as the people who are actually doing the bad stuff even though the other lot aren't."

Meanwhile, a further revelation into the lobbying controversy emerged last night, as one of the country's top civil servants was allowed by the Cabinet Office to work for the firm Greensill Capital while maintaining his role in the civil service.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the head of the official Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) has revealed that Bill Crothers joined Greensill as a part-time adviser to the board in 2015, a move that was "supported by the Cabinet Office leadership".

Read more: Starmer accuses Johnson of 'blocking proper inquiry' into Greensill lobbying scandal