David Cameron Under Pressure Over Father’s Name in Panama Papers

British PM, David Cameron said that he and his family do not own or benefit from any offshore funds.

Updated
World
2 min read
 British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister David Cameron and his family do not benefit from any offshore funds, his spokesman said on Tuesday, after the British leader came under pressure over his late father’s inclusion in the “Panama Papers” revelations over tax havens.

Leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have provided evidence of how the world’s rich and powerful used secretive offshore company structures to stash their wealth.

The documents named Cameron’s late father Ian and members of his Conservative Party among the list of the firm’s clients.

During a visit to central England, on Tuesday, Cameron said he did not own any shares or have any offshore funds but did not answer a question on whether he or his family had benefited from offshore investment funds set up by his father. On Monday, his spokeswoman had said it was a “private matter”.

In a statement on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Cameron 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 ... Mrs Cameron owns a small number of shares connected to her father’s land, which she declares on her tax return.
David Cameron’s Spokesperson

The spokesperson did not say whether they had benefited in the past.

The leader of Britain’s main opposition party urged the government to tackle tax havens, accusing Cameron of allowing “the super-rich elite” to dodge taxes.

The government has promised to investigate the leaked data but opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, called for more to be done, including setting up an independent investigation.

There cannot be one set of tax rules for the wealthy elite and another for the rest of us. The unfairness and abuse must stop. No more lip service, the richest must pay their way.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Opposition

Corbyn said Britain had a “huge responsibility” as many tax havens are British overseas territories, such as the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, or crown dependencies, such as Jersey or the Isle of Man.

According to media that have seen Mossack Fonseca’s files, more than half of the 200,000 companies set up by the firm were registered in the British Virgin Islands, where details of ownership do not have to be filed with the authorities.

When Britain hosted a G8 summit in 2013, Cameron put tackling tax avoidance at the heart of the agenda. Some of Britain’s former colonies increasingly rely on revenues from shell companies and trusts that often hide wealth.

Three years later, some opposition lawmakers say the release of the “Panama Papers” shows the battle is far from won and are demanding that Cameron exert more control over Britain’s overseas territories, most of which are self-governing.

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