Report says Greer is ’not guilty’ of cash for questions

Sir Gordon Downey’s report into the cash for questions scandal has all but cleared Ian Greer and his firm of the main allegation against him.

Sir Gordon Downey’s report into the cash for questions scandal has

all but cleared Ian Greer and his firm of the main allegation against

him.



The report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found no

evidence that Greer paid MPs cash to ask questions in Parliament on behalf

of his client, Mohamed al Fayed. But on some of the other aspects of

Greer’s involvement in the saga, the report was less conclusive.



For example, the report found that Sir Andrew Bowden failed to declare an

election donation of pounds 5,319 from Greer, which it said ’was intended

as a reward for lobbying’ and that ’Sir Andrew probably knew it came

originally from al Fayed’.



Ian Greer and his firm are repeatedly linked with the five MPs criticised

by Sir Gordon. Tim Smith, Neil Hamilton, Sir Andrew Bowden, Michael Grylls

and Peter Hordern, were all found guilty of taking payments or donations

and failing to register them.



Following the report’s publication and the collapse of his libel action

against the Guardian in September 1996, Greer has now run out of further

ways to clear his name.



But, in a statement this week Greer said: ’I am delighted that the report

has cleared myself and the staff of Ian Greer Associates of any suggestion

that we acted as a conduit for Mohamed al Fayed’s disreputable cash

payments to MPs to ask questions. It was over this issue that I sued.



’My company collapsed when it was revealed that I made campaign donations

to a number of MPs. They and I have been cleared of any wrong-doing. These

past three years have been a distressing time for them and for me. I look

forward to a brighter and exciting future.’



IGA was first hit by scandal in 1993. By January this year, liquidators

were appointed to wind up the lobbying empire. Greer now runs a new

agency, International Government Relations.



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