UK leader should have han­dled Panama Papers ‘bet­ter’

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

British Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron ad­mit­ted that he bun­gled his ad­mis­sion of his in­vest­ment in an off­shore fund re­vealed in the mam­moth data breach of a Panama law firm.

“Well, it not been a great week,” he told Con­ser­va­tive Party mem­bers. “I could have han­dled this bet­ter. I know there are lessons to learn, and I will learn them. And don’t blame No. 10 Down­ing Street or name­less ad­vis­ers. Blame me.”

It was Cameron’s first pub­lic ap­pear­ance since his ad­mis­sion Thurs­day night that he had owned shares in a Ba­hamas­based trust from 1997 to 2010. He had sidestepped per­sis­tent ques­tions on the is­sue for four days with a string of ob­fus­cat­ing state­ments is­sued through aides.

Cameron faces mount­ing pres­sure from op­po­si­tion politi­cians to re­veal the full ex­tent of his past in­vest­ment in off­shore in­vest­ments, par­tic­u­larly those run by his late fa­ther, Ian, a mil­lion­aire stock­bro­ker who placed much off his sav­ings in trusts based in is­land tax havens. Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn and oth­ers say they will press Cameron on the is­sue when Par­lia­ment re­con­venes on Mon­day.

The British prime min­is­ter is one of scores of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, celebri­ties and sports stars who have been linked to shell com­pa­nies and in­vest­ment trusts or­gan­ised by the Panama City-based law firm Mos­sack Fon­seca, which spe­cialises in reg­is­ter­ing off­shore com­pa­nies.

Cameron has made the clo­sure of global tax loop­holes a fo­cal point of his gov­ern­ment - and re­jected charges of hypocrisy on the is­sue.

“This gov­ern­ment that I lead will go on very clearly, doggedly, de­ter­minedly mak­ing sure we crack down on tax eva­sion and ag­gres­sive tax avoid­ance,” he said.

Cameron ad­mit­ted that he owned shares in his fa­ther’s Ba­hama trust from 1997 to 2010, but sold that stake for a $30,500 profit shortly be­fore be­com­ing prime min­is­ter that year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.