By Lucy Westcott/Newsweek
British Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted to having a stake in his father’s offshore trust fund after previously denying his involvement.
Speaking to the U.K.’s ITV News on Thursday, Cameron said he and his wife, Samantha Cameron, owned 5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust, the offshore trust fund established by his late father, Ian Cameron. Blairmore Investment Trust, a multimillion-pound offshore fund that never paid any taxes in Britain, was named earlier this week in the leak of millions of documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca, known as the Panama Papers.
The prime minister said he sold the units, which were worth £30,000, in January 2010 and paid income tax on the dividends from the units. He said there was a profit on the units, but it was worth less than the capital gains tax allowance. Cameron said he did not pay capital gains tax on the units.
“I sold them all in 2010 because I was going to become prime minister,” he said. “I didn’t want anyone to say you’ve got other agendas, other interests, all the rest of it.”
Cameron initially said his father’s trust was a “private matter” and said his family “do not benefit from any offshore funds.” When asked about the fund by a journalist in Birmingham, U.K. on Tuesday, the prime minister replied: “I own no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description.”
During the interview on Thursday, the prime minister also said he received a £300,000 inheritance when his father died, but added that criticism of his father is not justified.
“There are many other unit trusts like it, and I think it’s being unfairly described and my father’s name is being unfairly written about,” he told ITV News.
Shortly before ITV News published its article, the hashtag #CurseDavidCameron emerged on Twitter. Below are some of the tamer offerings.
May your toast always fall butter side down #CurseDavidCameron
— Georgia Threadgold (@g_threadgold) April 7, 2016
May your oven chips cook unevenly #CurseDavidCameron
Iceland has named a new prime minister after Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned over the Panama Papers. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, the minister of fisheries and agriculture, replaced Gunnlaugsson after it emerged that the former prime minister and his wife owned an offshore company that hid millions of dollars in investments in three Icelandic banks that collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis.
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