The Prime Minister, David Cameron is coming under increasing pressure to release details of his and his family’s financial affairs after his late father was named in the leaked ‘Panama Papers’.
Initially Number 10 insisted the issue was a ‘private matter’ but following awkward questions from the media, following the leakage of documents from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, Downing Street have issued a fresh statement.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the Prime Minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future.”
The statement declares that the Prime Minister, his wife Samantha and their children would not benefit in the future from any offshore funds but evaded further questions over whether the PM has benefitted in the past.
David Cameron’s father, Ian Cameron, is said to have been a director of Panama-based investment fund Blairmore Holdings Inc. until shortly before he died in 2010. At the time of his death he was said to have left a fortune of £2.74m in his will, from which the Prime Minister received the sum of £300,000.
Blairmore Holdings Inc reportedly still exists today but has since moved its residence to Ireland and it is unclear as to whether the country counts as ‘offshore’
Bearing in mind that Google and Microsoft conduct their financial business through Ireland there are undoubtedly tax avoidance advantages in conducting company business there.
The speculation surrounding all of this threatens to overshadow the Prime Minister’s attempts to crackdown on global tax avoidance at an anti-corruption summit in London next month. Yesterday, he insisted he was “absolutely” committed to doing more to shut down tax havens.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for an “independent investigation” into Ian Cameron’s tax affairs and urged the Prime Minister to explain “exactly what’s been going on”.
There is no suggestion that the alleged Blairmore avoidance arrangement or any others exposed by the Panama leak were anything but entirely legal or that the Cameron family did not pay the UK tax due on any repatriated assets.
The first victim of the so-called Panama Papers leak was the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson who resigned following mass protests over his failure to declare an offshore company that was revealed in the Mossack Fonseca files.