Sailing into a row: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s £44m superyacht is seen anchored off Cornwall as storm rages over meetings with David Cameron and scandal-hit Greensill boss

  • The 255-ft superyacht Pegasus VIII anchored off St Anthony’s Head lighthouse in Falmouth on Wednesday
  • Photograph showed David Cameron during a visit with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
  • The boat, which has space for up to 12 guests and a crew of 26, has a party deck with two bars and a barbecue
  • Its anchor was lowered near St Mawes Castle to offer guests stunning views of the Cornish coastline today 

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s £44million superyacht has anchored off the coast of Falmouth amid a brewing scandal over meetings with David Cameron and his financier friend. 

It comes just a day after a photograph emerged showing Mr Cameron and Lex Greensill dressed in business suits and drinking tea around a campfire during a meeting with the prince in Riyadh.

After the photograph of his ‘desert camping trip’ was obtained by the Wall Street Journal Mr Cameron insisted he raised human rights concerns with the Arab leader. 

The 255-ft superyacht Pegasus VIII – which features a 39-ft swimming pool, helipad, golf driving range and children’s play area – anchored off St Anthony’s Head lighthouse in Cornwall on Wednesday.

The yacht, which has space for up to 12 guests and a crew of 26, also has a party deck with two bars, a dance floor, grand piano, barbecue and a 1,000-bottle tequila cellar.

Its anchor was lowered near St Mawes Castle to offer guests stunning views of the Cornish coastline.

The vessel has a top cruising speed of 16 knots and was built by the Royal Denship, a Danish company, in 2003, before it was bought by Californian investor Ronald Tutor.

The 255-ft superyacht Pegasus VIII – which features a 39-ft swimming pool, helipad, golf driving range and children’s play area – anchored off St Anthony’s Head lighthouse on Wednesday

After a photograph of David Cameron’s ‘desert camping trip’ was obtained by the Wall Street Journal he insisted he raised human rights concerns with the Arab leader

Tutor named the boat Pegasus after owning other vessels bearing the same name and, in 2015, sold it to the Saudi prince for £44million. 

Prince Mohammed, 35, has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. 

The boat, which has space for up to 12 guests and a crew of 26, also has a party deck with two bars, a dance floor, grand piano, barbecue and a 1,000-bottle tequila cellar

In February, the Biden administration released a declassified US intelligence report which concluded the crown prince authorised the team of Saudi security and intelligence officials that killed Khashoggi. 

Prince Mohammed has previously denied ordering the killing or having any knowledge of it. 

In a statement about his Saudi Arabia visit Mr Cameron said he ‘took the opportunity to raise concerns about human rights’. He added: ‘As I always did when meeting the Saudi leadership when I was prime minister.’ 

Greensill Capital was planning to open an office in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, at the time of the trip in January 2020. 

Mr Greensill is said to have later boasted they went ‘camping in the desert’ and he bonded with the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia under the night sky, because they had both studied law at university.

Mr Cameron’s added in his statement: ‘While visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January 2020 to advise on their forthcoming chairmanship of the G20, I also – with Lex Greensill – met with a range of business and political leaders, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

‘As the Softbank Vision Fund was by this time the largest investor in Greensill, the company was, in effect, part-owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

‘Greensill planned to open a new regional office in Riyadh as part of its international expansion and I wanted to assist in this effort.’ 

The Greensill scandal began last month when it was revealed Mr Cameron, a paid part-time adviser to the company since 2018, lobbied ministers and officials last year to let the firm gain access to the Bank of England’s huge Covid loan scheme. 

Prince Mohammed (pictured), 35, has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018

Its anchor was lowered near St Mawes Castle (pictured) to offer guests stunning views of the Cornish coastline

The boat (pictured) has a top cruising speed of 16 knots and was built by the Royal Denship, a Danish company, in 2003, before it was bought by Californian investor Ronald Tutor

It comes just a day after a photograph emerged showing Mr Cameron and Lex Greensill (pictured) dressed in business suits and drinking tea around a campfire during a meeting with the prince in Riyadh

In recent weeks more details have emerged of the previously unknown links between Greensill and Government when Mr Cameron was in No10, with financier Mr Greensill even given Downing Street business cards.  

In the Commons, MPs demanded answers on how Greensill had obtained an estimated £200million in Covid loans under a Government scheme, as well as a series of meetings with senior civil servants as it sought access to even more cash.  

Labour’s Wes Streeting said: ‘A few texts from ‘dodgy Dave’ and Greensill got ten meetings and a ream of correspondence with senior Treasury officials, the type of access that most businesses in this country could only dream of.’

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said: ‘This is an extraordinary and shocking revelation. The Conservatives have weakened the rules so much they may as well rip them up and start again. They must be kidding themselves if they think the current checks and measures they’ve got in place are working.

Tutor named the boat (pictured) Pegasus after owning other vessels bearing the same name and, in 2015, sold it to the Saudi prince for £44million

The Greensill scandal began last month when it was revealed Mr Cameron, a paid part-time adviser to the company since 2018, lobbied ministers and officials last year to let the firm gain access to the Bank of England’s huge Covid loan scheme 

In recent weeks more details have emerged of the previously unknown links between Greensill and Government when Mr Cameron was in No10, with financier Mr Greensill even given Downing Street business cards. Pictured, the superyacht

Greensill Capital was planning to open an office in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, at the time of the trip in January 2020. Pictured, the superyacht is moored off Cornwall’s coast

‘They need to strengthen rules now and get everything about the Greensill scandal out in the open with a proper Parliamentary inquiry.’ 

Today Labour will call for the establishment of a new independent ‘Investigation into Lobbying of Government Committee’, consisting of 16 MPs, fearing the Government-commissioned probe will be a whitewash.

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who served under Mr Cameron, became the latest to speak out against his lobbying last night.

‘If you have been a minister of the crown and you have held high office then, I think, to turn oneself into a paid lobbyist is an unfortunate thing to do,’ he told Channel 4 News.

‘The public are increasingly cynical about the way politicians behave about allegations of corruption and cronyism in government, and the perception that there are lots of private channels which are being exploited.’

Mr Cameron, who will co-operate with the inquiry into his lobbying, has insisted that he broke no rules or codes of conduct. 

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