A LABOUR motion to set up a separate parliamentary inquiry into the Greensill lobbying scandal has been rejected by MPs.

The motion by the main opposition in Westminster to set up a parliamentary inquiry into the affair - in addition to the independent review set up by Downing Street - was defeated by 357 votes to 262, a majority of 95.

The parliamentary inquiry would have seen former prime minister David Cameron and senior Tory ministers including Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock forced to give evidence in public. There is no such need for this in the independent inquiry the Government has set up.

Labour also criticised the appointment of Nigel Boardman, a legal expert whose father was a Tory minister, to lead the independent inquiry established by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak is nowhere to be seen as MPs asks questions of Tory lobbying scandal

He is pausing his role as a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and will be unpaid for his work on the inquiry.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said “it’s a fact that Nigel Boardman is a very good friend of the Conservative Government” and “what is being proposed by the Government is not remotely fit for purpose”.

“It’s not an inquiry, it’s not independent, it’s an insult to us all,” she said.

Downing Street said Boardman was a “distinguished legal expert” and “an independent reviewer”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “He was asked to lead this review independently, he has been asked to do it thoroughly and promptly, and we trust him to do that.”

The National:

Boardman's inquiry, due to report its findings in June, is set to examine the dealings financial firm Greensill Capital had with the UK Government after it emerged that former prime minister David Cameron had lobbied Chancellor Rishi Sunak on behalf of the company and set up a "private drink" with Health Secretary Matt Hancock with the company's founder, Lex Greensill.

It was also revealed yesterday the Government’s former procurement chief had worked for Greensill Capital while still employed as a civil servant.

Senior civil servant Bill Crothers began working for Greensill as a part-time adviser to the board in September 2015 and did not leave his role as Government chief commercial officer until November that year.

READ MORE: Cabinet Office approved top official joining Greensill while still a civil servant

Meanwhile, the Treasury Select Committee will also examine the regulatory lessons from the collapse of Greensill and Sunak’s department’s response to lobbying by Cameron.

The Treasury Select Committee is made up of six Conservative MPs, three Labour MPs and one SNP MP - Alison Thewliss, the party's shadow chancellor.

The investigation by the committee will officially launch next week and another probe could be launched by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee after its chairman, Tory MP William Wragg, described Cameron’s lobbying for the collapsed lender as “tasteless, slapdash and unbecoming”.

At Prime Minister's Questions earlier today, Johnson (below) said that it was a "good idea in principle" that top civil servants can have experiences in the private sector and engage with businesses.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (below) repeatedly questioned Johnson about the row, saying an “overhaul of the whole broken system” was needed.

“The Greensill scandal is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

“Dodgy contracts, privileged access, jobs for their mates, this is the return of Tory sleaze.”

The National: Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson at PMQs

He said financier Lex Greensill was brought into the Government as an adviser by Cameron, before hiring the former prime minister to act as a lobbyist contacting Cabinet ministers including the Chancellor and Health Secretary.

“And now, even more unbelievably, we know the Government’s head of procurement, no less, became a Greensill adviser while he was still a civil servant,” Starmer said.

There was a “revolving door, indeed an open door, between this Conservative government and paid lobbying”.