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Will the Panama Papers affect the UK referendum result?

Will the Panama Papers affect the UK referendum result?
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Concerns the outcry over offshore accounts will play into the anti-EU narrative ahead of the vote in June

  • Outcry over offshore accounts could help anti-EU narrative ahead of UK referendum
  • Cameron deflects swirling media storm
  • Opposition calls for investigation into tax havens

The news


There are concerns the outcry over offshore accounts will boost the anti-EU narrative in the run-up to the UK referendum in June.

Panama Papers: David Cameron's worst week as Prime Minister

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 7, 2016

Commentators say policy disputes and the ongoing threat over the future of the UK steel industry mean Prime Minister David Cameron’s pro-Brussels government has taken a knock in recent weeks.

A growing media storm

Cameron is deflecting a growing media storm over revelations he held a stake in his late father’s offshore trust.

The British prime minister has acknowledged he held a stake in his late father’s offshore trust.

David Cameron says he and his wife Samantha owned shares in the Panamanian trust, “Blairmore”.

“Samantha (his wife) and I had a joint account and we owned five thousand units in Blairmore Investment Trust, which we sold in January 2010. That was worth something like 30,000 pounds.”

“I paid income tax on the dividends, 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.”

However, Cameron says he sold the shares before becoming prime minister in 2010.

The UK prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds at present.

The context

Cameron’s late father, Ian, was among tens of thousands of people named in leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

They are said to reveal how the world’s rich and powerful figures are able to conceal wealth and avoid taxes.

“There cannot be one set of rules for the wealthy elite, and another for the rest of us” jeremycorbyn</a> <a href="">#PanamaPapers</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; The Labour Party (UKLabour) April 6, 2016

The opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn called for an investigation into the claims made in the leaked Panama documents.

“This week, the publishing of the Panama Paoers drives home what more and more people feel, quite simply it is this; it is one rule for the rich and one rule for everybody else. And it is therefore high time that we got tough on tax havens,” Corbyn said in a speech to supporters.

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