Panama Papers: PM 'won't gain from offshore funds in future' - No 10

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Panama Papers: PM 'won't gain from offshore funds in future' - No 10

18 minutes ago

 From the section UK Politics

Panama Papers
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 How assets are hidden and taxes dodged

Downing Street has been forced to further clarify David Cameron's financial affairs after questions about his family's tax arrangements.

No 10 said there were "no offshore trusts or funds" that the prime minister or his immediate family would benefit from "in future".

Labour say questions still remain and want him to publish his tax returns.

It comes after a row over an investment fund set up by Mr Cameron's late father Ian.
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Leaked documents revealed Ian Cameron was a client of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and used one of the most secretive - albeit lawful - tools of the offshore trade after he helped set up a fund for investors.

After a day of questions from the media about whether the prime minister's family retains an interest in the fund, Downing Street took the unusual step of issuing a statement on Tuesday saying Mr Cameron, his wife and his children "do not benefit from any offshore trusts".

And Mr Cameron himself said he had no shares or income from offshore trusts.

It followed a call from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for a independent inquiry into Britons linked to tax haven allegations - including Mr Cameron's family.

But there was criticism that Mr Cameron had not said whether he had already benefitted, or would gain in the future, from offshore funds.

In its latest statement, issued on Wednesday, Downing Street told the BBC: "There are no off-shore trusts or funds from which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit in future."

George Osborne
Image caption
Mr Osborne defended government action to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion

The statement did not address the issue of whether Mr Cameron had previously benefitted from his late father's investment fund.

Mr Corbyn said he would publish his tax returns and called on the prime minister to do the same.

Chancellor George Osborne said the government had done more than any previous government to tackle tax evasion and avoidance and to "make sure people pay the taxes that are owed".

Asked whether he himself had benefitted from an offshore fund, Mr Osborne said: "All of our interests as ministers and MPs are declared in the register of members' interests. We've made our position very clear."

The prime minister is hosting an international anti-corruption summit in London in May as part of the government's transparency agenda.

Mr Cameron has said the government has reclaimed billions of pounds and led the world in having an open register of beneficial owners of companies, which is due to come into force in June.

He is facing calls to increase the pressure on tax haven UK overseas territories to fully open up their business registers to UK law enforcement agencies to improve transparency.

Labour has also called on the prime minister to consider taking "direct rule" of UK overseas dependencies and territories that do not comply with UK tax laws.

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David Cameron

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