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David Cameron will not benefit in the future from offshore trusts, says No 10

Published 06/04/2016

Prime Minister David Cameron declined to say if his family had reaped the rewards of an offshore arrangement in the past or were likely to in the future
Prime Minister David Cameron declined to say if his family had reaped the rewards of an offshore arrangement in the past or were likely to in the future

David Cameron will not benefit in the future from offshore trusts or funds, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister has come under intense pressure over his family's tax arrangements following the Panama Papers data leak, which reportedly included details about his late father Ian's tax affairs.

Facing calls to explain his family's finances, the Prime Minister declared he has "no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds".

But as questions continued about the past and future benefits the Camerons may have reaped, No 10 put out a fresh statement stating the PM, wife Samantha and children would not benefit in the future.

A spokesman said: "There are no offshore funds/trusts which the PM, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future."

The Prime Minister has championed the transparency agenda at a series of international summits, and legislation forcing British companies to disclose who owns and benefits from their activities comes into force in June.

But despite several years of pressure, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories have proved reluctant to fully open up their business registers to UK law enforcement agencies.

Mr Cameron hopes for more action ahead of a major international anti-corruption summit he is hosting in May.

His father ran an offshore fund that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents - including a part-time bishop - to sign its paperwork, according to The Guardian.

Ian Cameron, who died in 2010, was a director of Blairmore Holdings Inc, which, until 2006, used unregistered "bearer shares" to protect its clients' privacy.

His use of the firm to help shield investments from UK tax helped build up a significant legacy, part of which was inherited by the Prime Minister.

There is no suggestion that this avoidance arrangement or others exposed by the leak were anything but entirely legal or that Mr Cameron's family did not pay the UK tax due on any repatriated assets.

Chancellor George Osborne refused to say if he had benefited from offshore funds or expected to in the future.

Asked about his tax affairs during a visit in London, he told the BBC: "All of our interests as ministers and MPs are declared in the register of members' interests and we have made our position very clear."

London Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed the row over the Prime Minister's finances as "absolute tripe".

Asked if he had any offshore holding linked to the Panama Papers, he joked "I wish".

He said: " As far as I can see, even a close study of the Guardian, I cannot see what they are blathering on about, I really can't."

Mr Johnson told LBC Radio: "The Prime Minister has made a very clear statement that he does not have a trust or any income from trusts and all the rest of it. It seems to be a load of absolute tripe."

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