Mayoral hopefuls in clash over their finances

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A bitter row over candidates’ tax affairs was centre stage once again in the fight to be London mayor yesterday as rivals clashed over publication of details of their personal finances.

The move by both Tory incumbent Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat hopeful Brian Paddick to meet a pledge of openness about income piled pressure on Labour’s Ken Livingstone to follow suit.

But although he published some figures, the ex-mayor said he would only give full details of his earnings if others agreed to disclose information concerning spouses and partners.

Mr Livingstone, who is fighting to wrest back the job he lost in 2008, has come under fire for channelling earnings through a company so that they are liable for corporation not income tax.

Mr Johnson refused to apologise for calling his City hall predecessor a “f****** liar” during a bust up in a lift over on-air allegations that he operated a similar arrangement.

Mr Johnson yesterday published an accountant’s letter showing he earned £1.7m over the four years to April 2011 – and paid 40 per cent in income tax and national insurance.

Ex-senior Scotland Yard officer Mr Paddick, whose income is mainly a £63,000 police pension, earned £344,146 in three years to that date and paid £100,693 in income tax.

On his campaign website, Mr Livingstone issued a table which showed he had paid £113,861 tax on £342,041 “total income” – £23,730 corporation tax on dividends from the company.

In 2007/8 he paid £44,142 income tax and nothing in corporation tax but by 2010/11 those figures switched to £22,691 in income tax and £11,970 in corporation tax.