DELETED texts between Nadhim Zahawi and former Prime Minister David Cameron over the troubled Greensill affair are at the center of a new feud over government transparency.
The member for Stratford declined to explain why he would have deleted texts from Mr Cameron about Greensill Capital.
Mr Cameron found himself in hot water because of his intensive lobbying on behalf of the now collapsed financial firm. A committee of MPs said he was showing a “significant lack of judgment”.
It appeared that Mr Zahawi and Mr Cameron had exchanged texts on Greensill, but the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was unable to publish them after an access to information request because they had been deleted by Mr. Zahawi.
The Herald asked Mr. Zahawi to explain the content of the texts and why they were deleted, but declined to comment.
Instead, a spokesperson for the Affairs Department said, “This FOI request was processed in accordance with the FOI law and an internal review by a senior official confirmed it.
“We are committed to acting in accordance with the FOI law at all times. “
The ministry added that the review was carried out by an impartial official after a clear and transparent process and anyone was free to challenge the decision through the Information Commissioner’s office.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr Zahawi in his texts to Mr Cameron, but the situation has led to claims that the government does not respect freedom of information rules.
It also potentially plays into the hands of those who argue about the lack of transparency in government.
Dominic Skinner, Stratford’s LibDem candidate in the last general election, said: “I think people are right to be concerned about this government’s lack of transparency. There are questions to be answered. “