Tag Archives: David Cameron

Panama Papers: the Cameron connection

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I’ve been pretty busy working on some long-lead stuff recently – and filling in for Beatrice Wilford over at Five Books, a great website of literary interviews and book recommendations – but I took a bit of time out to write this brief analysis of the UK fallout of the “Panama Papers” leak that’s being making the headlines for the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

David Cameron’s late father has been revealed in the leaked correspondence to have been a client of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm, and the full extent of the lengths his investment fund went to to (legally) avoid UK tax have been laid bare.

My former Sunday Times colleague (and co-author of that explosive biography of the PM) Isabel Oakeshott, and the tax campaigner Richard Murphy were kind enough to chat to me about the implications for Cameron – particularly his campaign to tackle tax avoidance through tax havens, which he made much of at the G8 meetings in Northern Ireland in 2013.

Full text of the article can be found here.

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More questions for Cameron in ‘cash for access’ controversy

I wrote this page lead article for the Daily Telegraph about a number of major donations to the Conservative Party made by a company owned by a Palestinian billionaire.

These donations are particularly relevant following the ‘cash for access’ scandal, when Sunday Times undercover reporters filmed the former Tory party treasurer Peter Cruddas boasting that he could provide access to the prime minister and influence over policy for “premier league” donors.

British political parties can only be funded by people registered to vote in this country, or by British companies.

Jack Straw has since called for an investigation into foreign donations, telling the Today programme: “The law is in principle very clear, which is that only donations that come from individuals who are on the UK electoral roll or from companies that are registered in the UK are allowed.

“In addition to this, new laws I introduced in 2009 ensured that you can’t use front organisations to disguise the original source of the donation.”

As usual, full text can be found on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold

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Which of the Cabinet have just handed themselves a tax break?

During his response to the Budget today, Ed Miliband challenged members of the cabinet who will benefit from the lowering of the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p to raise their hands.

No-one did. So I did a bit of sleuthing, using the register of MPs’ financial interests and the register of ministers’ interests to see which ministers are likely candidates.

The full blog post, with table of calculations, can be found on the Telegraph website here, while the text of the resulting newspaper article is online here or after the fold.

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Osborne’s new stamp duty tax to hit Cameron’s family bolthole

I wrote this article about how the prime minister’s landed father-in-law will be affected by the new stamp duty rules introduced in the Budget.

In a bid to halt stamp duty avoidance, a charge is to be introduced on all properties held by overseas companies.

The charge is expected to be £15,000 on homes worth £2m to £5m, rising to £140,000 a year for homes worth £20m or more.

Viscount Astor’s beautiful Jura estate, likely to be valued at well over the £2m cut-off, is a favourite holiday spot for Cameron and his wife.

Full text can be found on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold.

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