Panama Papers: Cameron will not benefit from offshore trusts

David Cameron has come under intense scrutiny after the Panama Papers financial data leak. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

David Cameron has come under intense scrutiny after the Panama Papers financial data leak. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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David Cameron will not benefit in the future from offshore trusts or funds, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister has come under intense pressure over his family’s tax arrangements following the Panama Papers data leak, which reportedly included details about his late father Ian’s tax affairs.

Facing calls to explain his family’s finances, the Prime Minister declared he has “no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds”.

But as questions continued about the past and future benefits the Camerons may have reaped, No 10 put out a fresh statement saying the PM, wife Samantha and children would not benefit in the future.

READ MORE: What is the Panama Papers leak and why is it important?

A spokesman said: “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the PM, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future.”

Chancellor George Osborne refused to say if he had benefited from offshore funds or expected to in the future.

Asked about his tax affairs during a visit in London, he told the BBC: “All of our interests as ministers and MPs are declared in the register of members’ interests and we have made our position very clear.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed the row over the Prime Minister’s finances as “absolute tripe”.

Asked if he had any offshore holding linked to the Panama Papers, he joked: “I wish.”

He said: “As far as I can see, even a close study of the Guardian, I cannot see what they are blathering on about, I really can’t.”

Mr Johnson told LBC Radio: “The Prime Minister has made a very clear statement that he does not have a trust or any income from trusts and all the rest of it. It seems to be a load of absolute tripe.”

Meanwhile, authorities in the British Virgin Islands say the release of confidential files from a law firm in Panama have prompted them to investigate whether there have been any breaches of financial regulations in the Caribbean territory.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has long played a prominent role in the offshore financial industry, and it has figured notably in the leak of documents from the Mossack-Fonseca law firm. The British territory is frequently used as a registry for offshore companies and trusts in a way that allows their owners to shield their identities from the public.

Financial regulators in BVI issued a statement saying they will “pursue a thorough investigation through the BVI’s competent authorities, and further action will be taken, where necessary”.

The BVI says it has “rigorous” regulatory oversight of its financial sector and adheres to international standards.

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