David Cameron avoids taxing questions for Google boss despite new whistleblower

Eric Schmidt wasl not be grilled on corporate taxes when he visited No 10 but former executive says he has 100,000 emails showing how search giant has ‘cheated’ UK taxpayers

Whitehall Editor

David Cameron failed to raise Google’s tax affairs when he met the company’s chairman Eric Schmidt in Downing Street yesterday, it has emerged.

Mr Schmidt was attending a meeting as a member of the Government Business Advisory Group.

But while Mr Cameron outlined his plans to use the UKs chairmanship of the G8 to tackle tax evasion and avoidance he did not specifically raise the issue of Google’s tax bill in the UK.

The company has been heavily criticised by MPs for technically outsourcing all its UK advertising sales to Ireland where it pays lower corporation tax – even though most of the sales are promoted and agreed in the UK.

The Independent understands that while Mr Cameron did not directly tackle Google on the tax bill in the meeting Mr Schmidt disclosed that he would support any efforts by the Prime Minister to clear up international tax law.

The Google boss was later allowed to leave the meeting in Downing Street by the back door to avoid answering questions from journalists.

Mr Schmidt has previously made clear his company would not support measures that would increase its overall global tax bill.

A spokesman for Mr Cameron said that he had raised the issue of tax in general with the Business Advisory Group and outlined what the Government intended to do to simplify international tax rules, increase transparency and close loop-holes in the current system.

“The Prime Minister talked the group though his G8 agenda,” he said. “That has transparency at the heart of it.

But he confirmed that he did not specifically be raised Google’s tax affairs.

“We don’t talk about individual companies’ tax affairs.

Asked earlier in the day why Mr Cameron had commented on the tax affairs of the comedian Jimmy Carr but was refusing to talk about the tax of Google the spokesman said: “The Business Advisory Group brings together a range of businesses.”

News of the Prime Minister's reluctance to single out Google for criticism came as a former Google executive-turned-whistleblower said he has 100,000 emails that expose an "immoral" tax avoidance scheme used by his former employer, that has "cheated" British taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of pounds.

Barney Jones, who worked for Google from 2002 until 2006, said the company has "pulled the wool over the eyes of HMRC and the British population."

Jones claimed that Google operated an elaborate system which diverts British profits through Ireland to the Bermuda tax haven.

Mr Schmidt is unlikely to get as easy a ride when he appears alongside the Labour leader Ed Miliband at a Google ‘Big Tent event’ on Wednesday.

Mr Miliband is expected to criticise the company’s tax policy and warn that a future Labour government would take a stronger unilateral line on aggressive tax avoidance than the Conservatives.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Caretaker / Storeman

£15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales - SaaS B2B

£60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms