Former British Prime Minister David Cameron went on a camping trip with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, months after the Saudi leader was accused of ordering Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination, it has been claimed.
Cameron was invited on the trip in his role as a paid adviser to the billionaire Australian financier Lex Greensill, whose firm Greensill Capital collapsed earlier this month, The Financial Times reported Tuesday.
The collapse threw global stock markets into a frenzy and wiped billions of dollars off the value of major firms. It has been estimated that some 50,000 people now face losing their jobs as a result of the collapse.
Cameron is alleged to have been in line for a $60 million payout had the company been floated. His role in the company’s downfall has come under growing scrutiny after the FT revealed he lobbied former colleagues for greater access to emergency British governmental COVID loan schemes. He is said to have texted the British chancellor, Rishi Sunak, as part of his lobbying efforts.
Greensill claimed in 2018 that Cameron brokered an introduction to Barack Obama on his behalf.
Cameron’s night under canvas with MBS is believed to have taken place in early 2020, long after a welter of damning evidence and official reports, including one by the UN, clearly suggested that the Crown Prince had signed off on the murder of Khashoggi.
The U.S. has since formally announced that bin Salman approved the killing.
The FT reports that recounting the camping trip with Cameron and bin Salman became “one of Lex Greensill’s favorite anecdotes.”
Greensill reportedly boasted that he bonded under the night sky with MBS over the fact that they had both studied law at university.
The Saudi royals have a long tradition of hosting guests on luxury camping trips in Bedouin-style tents, harking back to the ruling al-Saud’s nomadic heritage.
The FT sourced its claims to three people who said they had heard Greensill’s account of the journey, which is believed to have taken place in January or February 2020, shortly before the pandemic hit global travel.
The FT adds that data shows private jets belonging to Greensill Capital made a series of trips to Saudi Arabia in the first three months of last year.
Cameron, who charges $150,000 per hour for speaking engagements, allegedly used Greensill’s corporate jets extensively. Flight records for one of Greensill’s aircraft show numerous trips to and from Newquay airport, which is around half an hour’s drive from Cameron’s holiday home in Cornwall.
The FT said that Greensill Capital, the Saudi embassy in London, and Cameron had all declined to comment.