UK’s Cameron admits to profiting from father’s offshore fund

British PM David Cameron admits he profited from his father’s trust in Panama

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses students at Exeter University in Exeter, Britain April 7, 2016.

The United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that he profited from his father’s Panama-based offshore fund in an interview with ITV News on Thursday.

Cameron said he and his wife sold their joint “5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust” for around £30,000 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."

He added that he paid the income tax to the dividends, but because the profit 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."

Cameron’s late father Ian, a stockbroker who died in 2010, was among tens of thousands of people named in the so-called Panama papers, the leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca which showed how the world's rich and powerful are able to avoid taxes.

The prime minister said in the interview that his father bequeathed some 300,000 pounds to him, but didn't say if any of that money had come from offshore funds.

He also admitted his father had “another unit trust… established to industry standard” in Jersey, a British crown dependency.

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

Downing Street first dismissed questions regarding the offshore fund saying it was a private matter on Monday. Then it said Cameron had no offshore funds, and later said he, his wife and children do not benefit from any offshore funds at present.

It added on Wednesday that Cameron will not benefit from such funds in the future.

Cameron has been under intense pressure from the main opposition Labour party and media this week to come clean over his financial arrangements past and present.

He indicated in the interview that he would be prepared to publish his tax returns although a previous offer to do so in 2012 did not materialise.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson told Sky News that, while it was too early to say whether Cameron should quit, "he may have to resign over this but we need to know a lot more about what his financial arrangements have been."

Yet Isabel Oakeshott, author of a biography of Cameron, wrote in the Daily Mail that "The PM has always been aware that if voters knew the scale of his wealth, they would consider him incapable of relating to their daily struggles.''

TRTWorld and agencies