David Cameron dropped from promoting children’s parliament due to reputational damage

·2 min read
David Cameron - Hannah McKay/Reuters
David Cameron - Hannah McKay/Reuters

David Cameron has been dropped from promoting a children’s parliament project due to the damage to his reputation caused by the Greensill scandal.

The former prime minister was due to be included alongside Theresa May as supporters of Lord Bird’s Bill to promote the interests of young people when drawing up government policy.

But, staff at the peer’s office demanded Mr Cameron should be removed from publicity material over fears his involvement in the lobbying row could tarnish the scheme.

Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue and co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations, is inviting more than 600 youngsters aged between seven and 13 to share their thoughts about climate change at a children’s parliament, organised by Wakelet, an online educational tool, and Microsoft Teams, the video meeting software.

The one hour “virtual parliament” – called the House of Children – will take place in October, just before the climate change conference in Glasgow. The debate, which will use computer technology to recreate a digital Westminster debating chamber, will then be posted on YouTube and Facebook.

An email thread seen by The Telegraph shows one of Lord Bird’s senior staff amended draft promotional material about the event which mentioned how Mr Cameron had been “very supportive” of the Future Generations Bill.

But, a member of Lord Bird’s staff, responded: “I don’t know whether we would want DC [David Cameron] mentioned given all of the stuff he’s now embroiled in…”

The email was written just days before Mr Cameron appeared before two Commons committees where he was told by MPs that his reputation was in “tatters” after persistently lobbying ministers on behalf of the controversial bank he had worked for.

Lord Bird is calling for the creation of a Future Generations Commissioner to scrutinise government policies to ensure they will have a positive impact on the generations that follow.

He has introduced his Future Generations Bill into the House of Lords. Caroline Lucas, the Green Party leader and MP, introduced the bill last year into the Commons.

A Future Generations Bill was introduced in Wales in 2017 with the aim of ensuring all public bodies consider the long-term effects any policy has on the environment, culture and communities.