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Osborne Follows PM in Declaring he is not Involved in Tax Havens

GEORGE OSBORNE, the Chancellor, was forced to clarify his personal tax interests last night in the wake of the Panama Papers furore.

Published: 07th April 2016 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2016 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

GEORGE OSBORNE, the Chancellor, was forced to clarify his personal tax interests last night in the wake of the Panama Papers furore.

Sources close to Mr Osborne insisted he had "no offshore interests, in shares or anything else" as they dismissed claims he had walked out of interviews after being grilled on his finances.

The rebuttal came as the Prime Minister was pressed again over his family's tax arrangements following the offshore data leak, which listed a company involving his late father Ian. Blairmore Holdings Inc was transferred from from Panama to Dublin in 2012 - two years after Ian Cameron's death, the investment firm made clear last night.

A source close to the company said the investment fund was not for avoiding tax, adding: "It is perfectly legitimate to put money into offshore funds. It's a fund which you invest in the hope that the manager will grow the original investment by investing in other equities. Any profits made on the investment is taxable wherever the investor is domiciled." Facing calls to explain his family's finances, the Prime Minister declared he has "no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds".

A spokesman added: "There are no offshore funds/trusts which the PM, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future."

Yesterday Labour MP Jess Phillips said Mr Cameron's late father was "utterly disgusting" for setting up a company that avoided paying tax in the UK. Ms Phillips said: "The sins of Daddy Cameron were not illegal but they are utterly disgusting."

Mr Osborne also faced scrutiny last year over the dealings of his family business, Osborne & Little, and a developer based in the British Virgin Islands. While visiting the Ocado Customer Fulfilment Centre in Hatfield yesterday he was asked: "Do you now or will you in the future benefit from any offshore funds?"

Rather than answer the question directly, Mr Osborne said members of the Commons record all their interests in the register of members' interests. He was then asked a second time "are you going to benefit at all?" and again he

referred to the Government's record on issues of tax avoidance.

"As I've said, all of our interests as ministers and MPs are declared in the register of members' interests and we've made our position very clear," he added. When the ITV interviewer attempted to ask another question, Mr Osborne said "thank you" and ended the interview.

A source close to the Chancellor said later: "George has no offshore interests, in shares or anything else, and as he made clear earlier all his interests are properly declared in the register of interests."



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