Lord Pickles’s ACOBA has admonished former Chancellor Philip Hammond for breaking rules on post-cabinet jobs and lobbying. Last month Hammond was accused of breaching the ministerial code after lobbying one of his former senior officials on behalf of a paying client. Today Lord Pickles has published a letter to Hammond confirming it was:
“an unwise step to contact senior officials at the Treasury on OakNorth’s behalf… the use of your contacts in government in this way was not consistent with the intention of the Rules and was not acceptable.”
Remarkably, Hammond made it clear he was exploring legal action, possibly in the form of an injunct, to prevent ACoBA’s letter being published…
Hammond claimed that in contacting Charles Roxburgh, second permanent secretary at the Treasury, he was “neither seeking to influence policy, nor motivated by an attempt to secure business (or any other form of benefit)”. Pickles wryly comments he has no doubt Hammond “sincerely believed contact with your former department in this way was appropriate”.
“The Committee considers the use of your contacts in government in this way was not consistent with the intention of the Rules and was not acceptable. The material consideration is the privileged access you obtained for OakNorth not the commercial value of the proposition.”
On the same day we learn David Cameron’s still laughing all the way to the bank…
Read Lord Pickle’s letter in full below: