MINISTERS should be banned from lobbying for five years and fined if they breach rules, an anti-corruption watchdog will say.

Lord Jonathan Evans, chairman of the committee on standards in public life, is set to air the proposal in an emergency review of lobbying guidelines to be published on Monday.

It comes in the wake of the Greensill saga involving former Prime Minister David Cameron. 

Cameron was left red-facecd after it emerged earlier this year he had sent dozens of texts, including to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, called, and emailed senior officials and ministers in a bid to get help in gaining government Covid support for his employer scandal-hit financier Lex Greensill.

READ MORE: 'I broke no rules': David Cameron speaks on lobbying scandal after weeks of silence

And now, the controversy has sparked sweeping recommendations for change from Evans, who is understood to be demanding an overhaul to prevent ex-ministers using their contacts and expertise for personal gain. 

Evans, who served as MI5 chief under Cameron for three years, is said to have concluded the current rules are “inadequate” and will demand ministers “disclose informal lobbying over WhatsApp and text messages”.

It’s understood that the report will “single out” Cameron and recommend a swathe of changes including; banning ministers for taking jobs for two years “in sectors over which they had responsibility in office” and giving the watchdog powers to bring in stricter restrictions such as extending the ban to five years “where appropriate”.

The National:

The Government would also be made to release details of lobbying every four weeks, rather than quarterly, and regulate the appointment of non-executive directors to Whitehall departments to prevent politicians appointing “cronies”.

The Sunday Times said Lord Evans will tell BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Monday: “I do think there needs to be greater transparency about lobbying. There’s nothing wrong with lobbying in principle, but there needs to be a level playing field and it needs to be done visibly.”

The National:

READ MORE: David Cameron admits 'big investment' in Greensill but says no link to lobbying

Cameron has been embroiled in a lobbying controversy after revelations earlier this year that he texted Chancellor Rishi Runak on behalf of Greensill Capital, a finance firm which employed him as a lobbyist.

It was also revealed Cameron sent a succession of WhatsApp messages to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and other ministers over a single Covid loan scheme.

The committee on standards in public life was created in 1994 following the “cash-for-questions” scandal, and its recommendations since have provided the foundation for major anti-corruption reforms.