Former Chancellor Philip Hammond rapped by watchdog for using government links to aid bank he now advises


FORMER Chancellor Philip Hammond has been rapped for using government links to aid a bank he now advises.

It was unwise for him to contact a senior Treasury official about a project developed by OakNorth, sleaze watchdog Lord Pickles said.

Lord Hammond of Runnymeade argued his email was Covid-related

Lord Hammond of Runnymede argued his email was Covid-related and he was not trying to secure business with it.

In a letter to Lord Pickles, Lord Hammond said the purpose of the email was to “establish that a pro bono offer of support to HMG (Her Majesty’s Government), to assist in the Treasury’s response to business impacts of the Covid pandemic, had been received at senior level.”

Former ministers must apply for advice from Acoba when they take up any new appointment outside of government within two years of leaving office.

Lord Pickles said Hammond’s use of his government contacts was not acceptable and was not consistent with the intention of these rules.

He added that the rules and conditions include seeking to prevent any reasonable suggestion that a former minister’s employer may be offered “unfair access or influence within the government as a result of their former role”.