The Guardian reports: David Cameron was left dangerously exposed on Tuesday after repeatedly failing to provide a clear and full account about links to an offshore fund set up by his late father, as the storm over the Panama Papers gathered strength in both the UK and elsewhere around the world.
The prime minister and his office have now offered three partial answers about the fund set up by his father Ian, which avoided ever paying tax in Britain. The key unanswered question is whether the prime minister’s family stands to gain in the future from his father’s company, Blairmore, an investment fund run from the Bahamas.
After Downing Street said on Monday that the fund was a “private matter”, a journalist asked Cameron about it during a visit to Birmingham on Tuesday.
Cameron replied: “I own no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description.”
He dodged the key part of the question about whether he or his family stood to benefit. [Continue reading…]
The Guardian reports: David Cameron intervened personally to prevent offshore trusts from being dragged into an EU-wide crackdown on tax avoidance, it has emerged.
In a 2013 letter to the then president of the European council, Herman Van Rompuy, the prime minister said that trusts should not automatically be subject to the same transparency requirements as companies.
The EU planned to shine a light on the dealings of offshore bodies by publishing a central register of their ultimate owners but, in a letter unearthed by the Financial Times that remains publicly available on the government’s website, Cameron said: “It is clearly important we recognise the important differences between companies and trusts … This means that the solution for addressing the potential misuse of companies – such as central public registries – may well not be appropriate generally.” [Continue reading…]