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Camerons 'don't benefit from any offshore funds'

By PA Staff

Published 07/04/2016

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron

David Cameron has sought to distance himself from the row over the Panama Papers data leak, with Downing Street insisting the Prime Minister's family "do not benefit from any offshore funds".

The Prime Minister himself declared he has "no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds", after his late father Ian's tax affairs were highlighted in the document disclosure.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed Downing Street suggestions that the family's tax arrangements were a "private" matter and called for an independent investigation into those implicated by the records.

Mr Cameron sidestepped calls for a probe and declined to say if his family had reaped the rewards of an offshore arrangement in the past or were likely to in future.

The Prime Minister was asked to confirm that "you and your family have not derived any benefit in the past and will not in the future" from the offshore fund set up by Ian Cameron referred to in the papers leaked from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

During a visit to Birmingham, Mr Cameron said: "In terms of my own financial affairs, I own no shares. I have a salary as Prime Minister and I have some savings, which I get some interest from, and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street, and that's all I have.

"I own no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And so that, I think, is a very clear description."

He insisted that "no prime minister has done more" to crack down on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

A statement issued by Number 10 went further, stating: "To be clear, the Prime Minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds.

"The Prime Minister owns no shares.

"As has been previously reported, Mrs Cameron owns a small number of shares connected to her father's land, which she declares on her tax return."

The focus on Mr Cameron's personal finances came as Iceland's prime minister became the first political casualty of the Panama Papers leak.

Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson quit in the face of mass protests over reported offshore financial dealings by him and his wife.

Mr Cameron's 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.

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