Cameron cleared for ‘brand ambassador’ role with US firm
Appointments watchdog ACOBA approves former PM’s request to work for electronic-payments company
David Cameron in May last year Credit: PA
David Cameron is taking on a new job with US electronic payments firm First Data that will see him work as a “brand ambassador” for the technology business, the company has announced.
The former prime-minister’s part-time role with the Georgia-headquartered business was cleared by anti-corruption watchdog the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments in July, according to a just-published decision letter.
Like other former ministers and senior civil servants, Cameron was required to notify ACOBA of his plans so it could offer an opinion on the job's suitability. Last month the body voiced concern after former GCHQ director Robert Hannigan’s appointment to a role with US cybersecurity firm BluteamGlobal was publicised before it had considered his request.
- Business appointments watchdog reports spike in applications
- Watchdog voices ‘concern’ over ex-GCHQ chief's new job
- Civil service unions blast "hypocrite" David Cameron as he boosts Spads' exit pay – and over-rules John Manzoni
ACOBA said Cameron’s request to work for First Data was acceptable, provided that he did not seek to use privileged information he had access to as prime minister for his work with the firm, or lobby the UK government on its behalf until July next year – two years after he left office.
Committee chair Baroness Angela Browning said she had consulted Cabinet Office perm sec John Manzoni on Cameron’s appointment, which is the sixth he has successfully sought clearance for since he stood down as prime minister after failing to secure a "remain" victory in 2016's EU referendum.
“He confirmed that the government has no links with First Data in its procurement frameworks and has no concerns about you taking up this appointment,” she said.
As part of the corporate announcement of his new role – which ACOBA said was expected to take up “two to three days per month” – Cameron said he was “incredibly proud” that the UK had become a global force in financial technology during his time as prime minister.
“I remain passionate about the opportunities that exist for British and international companies that are developing exciting technologies both for businesses and consumers – technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the way we all live our lives,” he said.
“[Chairman and chief executive officer] Frank [Bisignano] and his team at First Data have had tremendous success over the years and I am delighted to work alongside them, continuing my association with the Fin-Tech sector, and supporting First Data enhance its international presence.”
Bisignano said Cameron was “one of the world’s most well-regarded leaders” and would be joining the firm’s international advisory board.
Cameron’s other post-government appointments include being president of Alzheimer’s Research UK and chairman of National Citizen Service Patrons, as well as working as a public speaker with the lucrative Washington Speakers Bureau.
ACOBA can advise against senior civil servants and former ministers taking up roles if it thinks the result would be a breach of its rules. In such cases, a request would most likely be withdrawn but the fact that it had been made would not be individually publicised.
The watchdog’s annual report for 2016-17, which came out in July, said eight applications for clearance had been withdrawn “for a variety of reasons” over the course of the year.
It added that 140 applications from civil servants and 104 from former ministers had been reported over the 12 months to April this year.
Cabinet Office minister unpacks vision for driving government use of emerging technologies
Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will look at how algorithms could reflect the biases of...
Setting out her vision for the upcoming Spending Review, Truss said the Treasury would “...
Troubled Families: Casey says evaluation proves government “absolutely right” to have backed programme
Government evaluation finds every £1 spent on the programme delivers £2.28 in economic benefits...
New research indicates the civil service risks losing its most digitally-skilled people, but it...
BT takes a look at the shifting nature of cyber threats, and how organisations can detect and...
One in four workers in the UK has financial worries. In this article, Elaine Jefferys, Money...
Microsoft considers the safest way to push the boundaries of innovation