A £10 million task force set up by David Cameron to investigate allegations of tax-dodging linked to the Panama Papers is yet to get its hands on the relevant documents, MP Tulip Siddiq has claimed.
The creation of the task force, led by HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency, was announced in April and it has requested that the BBC, the Guardian and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists hand over the relevant leaked data they hold.
But ministers have admitted the task force has faced “logistical barriers” in acquiring the documents.
Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, raised the issue at treasury questions.
She said: “The Panama Papers revealed what most of us had long suspected - that the super- rich enjoy manipulating the tax system.
“But I was astonished to learn in a written response from the former chancellor that the £10 million multi-agency task force set up to investigate these revelations still doesn’t actually have the Panama Papers in its possession.
“Will the minister clarify what the £10 million has actually been spent on or is this another example of creative Tory accounting?”
Newly-appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison replied: “I understand that there may be some logistical barriers to acquiring the papers with the journalists in fact.
“I will write to you in more detail but I don’t think that it’s any fault on the part of Her Majesty’s Treasury.”