Sean Connery hits back at critics by revealing his £3.7m tax bill

One of the most high-profile living Scotsmen has launched a pre-emptive strike on critics who scorn his right to support political independence for a country he no longer lives in.

The actor Sean Connery, a staunch supporter of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has revealed how much tax he has paid to the Treasury in the past five years in an effort to stifle criticism of his support for nationalists during the forthcoming Holyrood elections.

Opponents of the SNP, responding to the well-publicised support from such a celebrity, have repeatedly sniped at the star's tax-exile status in the Bahamas – and before that in Marbella – claiming it undermined his commitment to the nationalist cause and made him a "false friend of Scotland".

However, with a campaign for Scottish Parliament elections beginning in the next few weeks, Sir Sean, 72, who once worked as a milkman in Edinburgh, is aware that his decision to live abroad will come under fresh scrutiny.

"I get battered with this living in Marbella, living in the Bahamas, whatever," the actor said at his Bahamas home in Lyford Cay. "I'm an easy target because of my political opinions but I defy anyone in Scotland to find one detail where I knowingly ever did anything that was to the detriment of Scotland. It gets up my nose."

In a rare interview with Scotland's Herald newspaper, the actor – most famous for his James Bond roles – handed over evidence from his lawyers to show that, despite living in the Bahamas, he had paid more than £3.7m in tax to the UK Treasury since 1997, considerably more than the majority of his critics.

In addition, his lawyers said, he had "been either personally responsible for or a major participant in a vast amount of motion picture production in the UK over that time span, which has brought literally millions and millions of pounds of capital into the country, employed hundreds if not thousands of individuals in those films and generated substantial additional tax for the UK Inland Revenue".

Sir Sean said: "Everything I've got is tax paid. I don't have any blind trusts. And I hope this erases some of the cynicism about my financial affairs."

The actor, who regularly earns millions of pounds for his film roles, said: "I pay full tax wherever I am working. That's the way it works in the film industry. Since I've gone out of my way to bring film projects to the UK, instead of Hollywood, that's meant I've paid full tax here."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bathroom Showroom Customer Service / Sales Assistant

£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Manager

£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...

Recruitment Genius: IT Installation / Commissioning Engineer - North West

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Installation / Commission...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence