Cameron sidesteps inquiry call as father’s tax affairs revealed

David Cameron today
David Cameron today
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DAVID Cameron has failed to quell calls for an investigation into his family’s tax affairs despite insisting he has been “clear” about his financial arrangements.

The Prime Minister confirmed he did not have sources of income beyond his salary, interest from savings and rent on a former family home.

However, Mr Cameron did not clarify whether has family had benefited in the past, or might in the future, from offshore tax arrangements.

He was forced onto the defensive after details of some of his father’s business affairs were revealed in the so-called Panama Papers.

It was reported Ian Cameron, who died in 2010, was a director of Blairmore Holdings Inc, an offshore fund which was used to build up a legacy that would later benefit the Prime Minister.

There is no suggestion Ian Cameron did anything illegal or that tax was avoided on assets repatriated to the UK.

The Prime Minister said: “In terms of my own financial affairs, I own no shares. I have a salary as Prime Minister and I have some savings, which I get some interest from and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street and that’s all I have.

“I own no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description.”

Downing Street claimed the Government’s actions against tax evasion since 2010 had brought in more than £2bn to the exchequer.

It said the Prime Minister is “determined” the UK, its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories should lead the way in anti-corruption measures and the Government is working on the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands committing to new rules on transparency over business ownership by the time of an anti-corruption summit to be chaired by Mr Cameron next month.

Earlier, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had led calls for an investigation into the Camerons’ tax affairs and rejected a suggestion from Downing Street that they were a “family matter”.

Mr Corbyn said: “It’s a private matter in so far as it’s a privately held interest, but it’s not a private matter if tax has not been paid.

“So an investigation must take place, an independent investigation.”

Mr Corbyn said he wanted an investigation conducted by HM Revenue and Customs “about the amount of money of all people that have invested in these shell companies or put money into tax havens and to calculate what tax they should have paid over the years”.

The Labour leader also suggested the Government could intervene to take direct control of the UK’s offshore tax havens.

“If it’s necessary for ministers to intervene because the governments of the Overseas Territories won’t act, they can use an order in council to take control of them immediately,” he said.

Major international banks also found themselves drawn into the row triggered by the leaking of 11 million documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

HSBC, Credit Suisse and the Royal Bank of Scotland-owned bank Coutts Trustees have been named in a list of lenders who have helped to set up structures which can make it hard for tax officials to pinpoint the flow of money following analysis of the documents.

UK banking giant HSBC said it was working closely with authorities to combat financial crime and has put sanctions in place.on sanctions obligations.”

Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam said: “We do not condone structures for tax avoidance.”

A spokesman for Coutts Trustees said the bank was committed to the highest standards when complying with regulations.