As his late father was named in the Panama Papers, the British prime minister has been urged to crack down on offshore tax havens
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said “real action” on tax evasion was vital. He called on the UK’s tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), to launch an investigation, saying it would need more resources for this.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that Prime Minister David 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.
Ian Cameron was a director of Blairmore Holdings Inc, an investment fund run from the Bahamas but named after the family’s ancestral home in Aberdeenshire, which managed tens of millions of pounds on behalf of wealthy families. The paper said in 30 years Blairmore has never paid a penny of tax in the UK on its profits.
Clients included Isidore Kerman, an adviser to Robert Maxwell who once owned the West End restaurants Scott’s and J Sheekey, and Leopold Joseph, a private bank used by the Rolling Stones. The fund was founded in the early 1980s with help from the prime minister’s late father and still exists today.
HMRC said information it had received on offshore companies was the subject of “intensive investigation” and this data would be acted on “swiftly and appropriately”.
The documents show 12 current or former heads of state and at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders in the data.
Among them, the files show Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugson had an undeclared interest linked to his wife’s wealth. They also reveal a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The prime minister’s late father Ian was among those named in relation to investments set up by Mossack Fonseca. But Downing Street would not comment on the tax affairs of Mr Cameron’s father, and said the issue of whether the Cameron family still had funds in offshore investments was a “private matter”.
The leak also revealed some of the cash from the 1983 Brink’s Mat robbery was laundered using a company set up by Mossack Fonseca.