23 October 2016
Ian Cameron, with wife Mary, was among the clients of Panama-based Mossack Fonseca. Photo: The Times
Ian Cameron, with wife Mary, was among the clients of Panama-based Mossack Fonseca. Photo: The Times

UK’s Cameron under fire over Panama Papers link

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, a fierce critic of tax dodging, finds himself in an awkward position after his late father was found to be among the clients of a law firm in the tax haven of Panama.

The country’s customs authorities said they will investigate the leaked data from Panama-based Mossack Fonseca which showed how clients had evaded tax and laundered money, Reuters reported.

Cameron’s father, Ian, and members of his Conservative Party were among the tens of thousands of rich and famous people named in the documents, which emerged in an investigation published on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

In 2012, British media reported that Cameron’s father ran a network of offshore investment funds to help build the family fortune. There is no suggestion he did anything illegal.

Asked on Monday whether she could confirm that no family money was still invested in those funds, Cameron’s spokeswoman said: “That is a private matter.”

Britain’s HM Revenue and Customs said it had asked for a copy of the leaked data so it could examine the information.

“We have already received a great deal of information on offshore companies, including in Panama, from a wide range of sources, which is currently the subject of intensive investigation,” Jennie Granger, director general of enforcement and compliance at HM Revenue and Customs, said in a statement.

“We have asked the ICIJ to share the leaked data that they have obtained with us. We will closely examine this data and will act on it swiftly and appropriately.”

Opposition Labour finance spokesman John McDonnell said the Panama Papers showed Cameron had failed to end tax secrecy and crack down on offshore schemes and called for “real action”.

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