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
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.