U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted he and his wife did own shares in his late father’s offshore firm, Blairmore Investment Trust.
The revelation came after days of pressure following the publication of the Panama Papers documents.
Blairmore Holdings is an offshore fund set up by Ian Cameron and others in 1982. Incorporated in Panama but based in the Bahamas, it used “bearer shares” until 2006 to protect its clients’ privacy. It subsequently moved to Ireland, another country with favourable tax regimes for businesses which have income from outside the country.
Cameron revealed he held shares from 1997, while he was an opposition Member of Parliament, but sold them in 2010 before becoming Prime Minister.
Cameron insisted he had been clear about his present and future plans on tax, which included a promise never to benefit from money held offshore.
— ITV News (@itvnews) April 7, 2016
But in a specially arranged television interview with Robert Peston on ITV News he said:
“I paid income tax on the dividends, but 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.
So 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.
I’m proud of my dad and what he did and the business he established and all the rest of it.
I can’t bear to see his name being dragged through the mud, as you can see, and for my own, I chose to take a different path from my father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who were all stockbrokers.
And I’ve got nothing to hide in my arrangements and I’m very happy to answer questions about it.”
David Cameron on ITV
This was Cameron’s fifth statement this week regarding the matter.
What Did The Prime Minister Say This Week?
Statement 1 – Monday, April 4
Ask to confirm that no family money was invested in Blairmore Investment Trust, Cameron’s spokesperson said: “That is a private matter”
Statement 2 – Monday, April 4
In an interview on the same day, Cameron said: ” I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description”
Statement 3 – Wednesday, April 6
Downing Street issued a statement: “To be clear, the prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds. The prime minister owns no shares. As has been previously reported, Mrs Cameron owns a small number of shares connected to her father’s land, which she declares on her tax return”
Statement 4 – Wednesday, April 6
Downing Street released second statement saying: “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future”
Statement 5 – Thursday, April 7
Cameron told ITV News “We owned 5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust which we sold in January 2010”
(Image: ITV News)