Panama Papers: David Cameron clarifies tax position and tells critics to 'put up or shut up'

PM says there are no offshore funds or trusts which he, his wife or children will benefit from in the future

Charlie Cooper
Whitehall Correspondent
@charliecooper8
Wednesday 06 April 2016 11:10
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Downing Street has issued further clarification about the Prime Minister’s financial affairs, confirming that neither he, his wife or his children stand to benefit from offshore funds or trusts in the future.

The denial is the latest of a series of statements issued by No10 in the wake of the Panama Papers revelation that David Cameron’s father ran an offshore investment fund which never paid UK tax.

Yesterday, officials only went as far to say the Prime Minister and his immediate family did not currently benefit from any offshore funds, leading to speculation that he still stood to inherit or realise funds in the future.

In a sign of growing frustration in Downing Street, after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested yesterday that Mr Cameron’s family’s own tax affairs should be part of an independent investigation into the Panama leaks, a spokesperson said it was time for those questioning the PM’s financial arrangements to “put up or shut up”.

However, Labour MP and member of the Treasury Select Committee Wes Streeting said that, despite the latest clarification, Mr Cameron still had to confirm whether he had benefitted in the past from offshore funds.

“Yesterday the PM himself made a rod for his own back by issuing a partial statement,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “On the basis of the statements that were put out yesterday the key question is, has he benefitted in the past from this?”

“This whole issue about tax havens is about openness and transparency and it's really clear the UK, acting independently but also in conjunction with other countries, still has far more to do to tackle aggressive tax avoidance and tax havens,” he added.

“So from a public point of view, the question will be: when our Prime Minister says he is serious about tackling it…are we absolutely certain he doesn’t have a vested interest and if he does, will he be up front about it?”

In its statement, Downing Street said: “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future.”

Officials have yet to comment on whether Mr Cameron’s mother Mary continues to benefit from Blairmore – the investment fund which Mr Cameron’s father Ian set up in the Bahamas in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reported that Blairmore moved its operations to Dublin in 2010, the year that Mr Cameron became Prime Minister, and started paying corporation tax in Ireland.

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