The Boardman report into Greensill Capital’s lobbying activities – commissioned by the Prime Minister – is “weak” and a "missed opportunity" to address any concerns surrounding rules on lobbying, according to the CIPR.
The report found Lex Greensill had a “sometimes extraordinarily privileged” relationship with government, that David Cameron’s lobbying tactics “should have been considered more fully”, and that the actions of former civil servant, Bill Crothers, were "at the margins of acceptable conduct".
Commenting on the evidence provided that lobbying rules - which were in this case not breached - lack transparency, are able to be exploited, and give a privileged few a disproportionate level of access to government decision-makers, the report concludes that “some of these observations are justified”.
On the rules surrounding lobbying, the report states that “while there are improvements to be made, the current system and those operating within it worked well”.
Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive said "After waiting three months for this review, and following months of headline stories, it is disappointing to read such a weak response to the serious concerns surrounding Greensill and their access to government. While the report acknowledges some level of concern with the current lobbying rules, it is a real missed opportunity to contribute to the debate about the need for reform. The existing rules clearly do not serve the public interest. If the lobbying highlighted in this report is within the rules, then the rules are plainly nonsense."