UK’s Cameron says he mishandled ‘Panama Papers’ tax scrutiny

Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron admits he should have handled scrutiny of his family’s tax arrangements better

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, arrives to address the Conservative Spring Forum in central London, Britain April 9, 2016.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Saturday that he should have handled scrutiny of his family’s tax arrangements better. He also promised to learn lessons from negative media coverage including calls for his resignation.

"Well, it's not been a great week," Cameron said on Saturday in London at a meeting of members of his Conservative Party.

"I know that I should have handled this better, I could have handled this better. I know there are lessons to learn and I will learn them."

David Cameron's father Ian Cameron with his wife Mary / Reuters.

After four days and four different statements over his late father's inclusion in the "Panama Papers," Cameron admitted that he profited from his father’s Panama-based offshore fund in an interview on Thursday.

Cameron said he and his wife sold their joint "5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust" for around £30,000 ($42,000) in January 2010, four months before he became prime minister.

"I sold them all in 2010, because if I was going to become prime minister I didn't want anyone to say you have other agendas, vested interests."

The leak of nearly 11.5 million tax documents has revealed an alleged network of offshore tax fortunes linked to world leaders and celebrities, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The documents, dubbed "The Panama Papers" were obtained from an anonymous source by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The leaked documents allegedly reveal how Panama based law company Mossack Fonseca helped clients launder money and dodge taxes.

According to the documents, 140 political figures - including 12 current or former heads of state - are involved in the alleged network. The leak constitutes 2.6 terrabytes of data.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Syria's Bashar al Assad are among those who are or have been accused of involvement in money laundering and tax evasion.

TRTWorld and agencies