Bannatyne calls for apology from fellow dragon

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The Independent Online

Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne called for an apology from fellow Dragons' Den investor James Caan in the wake of their ongoing 'spat' over Caan's non-dom tax status.

The businessmen became embroiled in a war of words over the issue prior to filming of the latest series of the hit BBC show.



As a non-dom, Caan does not pay tax in the UK on offshore earnings, which Bannatyne said was "unfair".



Earlier this week, Caan sought to "draw a line" under the comments, labelling it a "personal and unfortunate exchange".



In a statement posted on his website he said: "Being a non-dom principally means that taxation on your offshore earnings falls outside of the UK.



"For example, if I have a business in Pakistan, and make a profit there, it is not subject to UK taxation until the point at which the money is brought into the UK, when it is fully subject to UK tax laws. The profits made in Pakistan would be taxed in Pakistan.



"I respect Duncan and his opinions. We are both professionals and I hope we can draw a line under this personal and unfortunate exchange.



"We are due to start filming our fourth series together next week. Duncan has always been aware of my non-dom status and to date, we have made three investments together, including ElectroExpo, the most successful investment to come out of the show.



"This year will be no different and the Dragons will do what they do best, investing and entertaining..."



He said he had paid £32.5 million in UK taxes up until April 2010, comprising Employers' National Insurance, VAT and Corporation Tax.



But speaking during an interview yesterday afternoon with Richard Bacon on BBC Radio 5 live, Bannatyne said he was owed an apology.



He said: "James Caan says he would not work with anyone who has a criminal record and I have one, so unless there is a big u-turn he can't work on Dragon's Den with me.



"He's known as u-turn Caan so he probably will make a big u-turn."



Asked if the pair had made up, he said: "The last time we met in front of a room full of people, I put my hand out and he refused to shake my hand... I don't think you even need to speak to do the show."



He added: "I think James will do a u-turn. He will come and apologise, if he's got the guts. I'm not sure he's got the guts.



"Apologise first of all for refusing to shake my hand and secondly for playing the race card and bringing up my criminal record."



Bacon asked: "Are you saying he owes you an apology?"



Bannatyne replied: "Absolutely, yeah."



Filming is expected to begin next Monday after being postponed as fellow Dragon Peter Jones was stranded in Barbados due to the ash cloud crisis.



Caan's spokeswoman said he had no further comment to make at present.

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