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PM David Cameron admits having a stake in dad's tax haven fund

By PA Staff

Published 08/04/2016

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron

David Cameron said he did not have "anything to hide" about his financial affairs as he revealed that he and his wife sold shares worth more than £30,000 in an offshore tax haven fund set up by his late father.

Senior Labour figures labelled him a "hypocrite" and there are calls for him to resign.

He has faced intense pressure to detail his interests since the Panama Papers leaks included details of Blairmore Holdings - which used "bearer shares" to protect investors' privacy.

Mr Cameron insisted that it was a "fundamental misconception" that it was set up to avoid tax, saying his father was being "unfairly written about".

He said that while his and Samantha's profit from the scheme was "subject to all the UK taxes in the normal ways" - it came to just below the threshold at which capital gains tax would have applied.

Mr Cameron has been a prominent campaigner for increased tax transparency.

Number 10 said the Camerons bought their holding in April 1997 for £12,497 and sold it in January 2010 for £31,500.

The annual personal allowance for an individual in 2009-10 was £10,100 - meaning jointly the profit was just outside the threshold. Labour deputy leader Tom Watson described Mr Cameron's remarks as an "extraordinary admission", adding he may have to resign although it is "too early to tell".

Mr Watson said: "Far from being the end of the matter, the questions keep coming.

"Did the Prime Minister know that this fund was linked to tax avoidance? If so, when, and if not, why not?

"Given that he claimed that 'sunlight is the best disinfectant', why has it taken six years for this to come to light?

"He may have to resign over this but I think we need to know a lot more about what his financial arrangements have been, why it's taken three days for him to answer legitimate questions from journalists," he said.

Shadow Treasury minister Richard Burgon wrote: "'We're all in it together' is starting to sound less and less like an election slogan and more and more like a confession."

Labour's Lyn Brown, in a nod to the television series Minder, also wrote: "David Cameron's tax affairs ducking and diving would shame Arthur Daley."

Labour's John Mann insisted Mr Cameron should resign and labelled him a "hypocrite".

The Treasury Select Committee member wrote on Twitter: "Cameron has been less than honest. He should resign immediately. Most decent people would expect nothing less."

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