PM admits Panama Papers involvement as scandal deepens


Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted holding shares in an offshore fund run by his late father for 13 years.

The Prime Minister has been under pressure to disclose his position since his father was implicated in the massive data leak from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Until yesterday Number 10 had been prepared only to confirm that Cameron and his family would not benefit in future from any offshore funds.

However, in an interview with ITV’s Robert Peston, the Prime Minister admitted holding shares until before the 2010 election, when he sold them for £31,500.

He said: “We owned 5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust, which we sold in January 2010. That was worth something like £30,000.

“I paid income tax on the dividends. There was a profit on it but it was less than the capital gains tax allowance so I didn’t pay capital gains tax. But it was subject to all the UK taxes in all the normal ways.

“I want to be as clear as I can about the past, about the present, about the future, because frankly I don’t have anything to hide.”

The Prime Minister and Mrs Cameron bought their holding in April 1997 for £12,497.

When they sold their shares in 2010, the personal allowance before capital gains tax was paid was £10,100 per person.

However, the Prime Minister also denied that his father had set up the Blairmore fund to avoid tax.

“It was set up after exchange controls went so that people who wanted to invest in dollar denominated shares and companies could do so.”

He added: “There are many other unit trusts like it, and I think it’s being unfairly described and my father’s name is being unfairly written about.”

Earlier this week Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the Government of “pussyfooting around” tax dodging, and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson responded to Cameron’s admission by accusing the Prime Minister of hypocrisy.

He said: “David Cameron, who described the use of complex tax avoidance schemes as ‘morally wrong’, has been forced to admit that he held shares in a fund now linked to tax avoidance.

“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?

“People want a government that clamps down on tax avoidance and they want a Prime Minister who upholds the highest standards. At the moment we seem to have neither.”