The Prime Minister finally came clean on the extent of his previous offshore tax affairs in a TV interview last night. But it took four days to get there.
Here are the five different statements the Prime Minister released following the revelation in the Guardian newspaper that his late father Ian Cameron had used the services of a Panamanian law firm in holding an offshore account for his company Blairmore Holdings.
1) Monday April 4: “That is a private matter. I will focus on what the government is doing.”
2) Tuesday April 5: “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 have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description.”
3) Later on that day a No 10 spokesperson said: “To be clear, the Prime Minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds. The Prime Minister owns no shares. As has been previously reported, Mrs Cameron owns a small number of shares connected to her father’s land, which she declares on her tax return.”
4) Wednesday April 6: “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future.”
5) Thursday April 7: David Cameron admits to ITV News’ Political Editor Robert Peston that he owned and made a profit on shares owned by Blairmore Investment Trust, which has now been linked to the Panama Papers. Number 10 said Mr and Mrs Cameron bought their holding in April 1997 for £12,497 and sold it in January 2010 for £31,500.
David Cameron said: “So I want to be as clear as I can about the past, about the present, about the future, because frankly, I don’t have anything to hide.”