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Skinner Pays for Holding ‘Dodgy Dave’ to Account

Corbyn: PM’s tax evasion plan just a masterclass in distraction

DENNIS SKINNER was ejected from the House of Commons yesterday for calling David Cameron “dodgy Dave” as debate raged over the Panama Papers tax scandal.

The Labour MP for Bolsover stood to grill the Prime Minister on whether he would answer a long-standing question about profit the latter may have received from a house sale.

Mr Skinner said that, before Mr Cameron became PM, he asked him whether a property sold in Oxfordshire was a home that Mr Skinner had suspected was paid for by public funds.

Mr Cameron did not answer the question then, but Mr Skinner asked whether “dodgy Dave” would answer it in the light of his own announcement on new tax haven rules.

Tory speaker John Bercow insisted that if Mr Skinner did not “withdraw the adjective” then he would have to expel him from the Commons.

Mr Skinner — affectionately known as the Beast of Bolsover — pointed at the Prime Minister and replied: “This man has done more to divide this nation than anybody else. He’s looked after his own pocket.

“I still refer to him as dodgy Dave. Do what you like.”

Twitter erupted with supporters saying Mr Skinner is “principled” and just declaring what “everyone else is thinking” since it was discovered that Mr Cameron received a £200,000 untaxed “gift” from his mum.

The PM, who announced “new measures” today to make it harder for wealthy people to hide assets overseas, also faced scrutiny from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn said that the PM and his ministers were failing to grasp the public anger at non-payment of tax by firms registered in overseas territories.

The furore has forced Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne to publish their tax returns.

Mr Cameron said that he had published all information for the past six years — including the offshore shares in a Bahamas-based investment fund registered in Panama by his late father.

Ian Cameron was exposed in the Panama Papers leaked from legal firm Mossack Fonseca as having avoided paying British tax for 30 years through his company Blairmore Holdings Inc.

The PM said that a new law could tackle tax evasion by making it a criminal offence for corporations to facilitate tax evasion by failing to stop their staff doing it.

But Mr Corbyn accused him of holding “a masterclass in the art of distraction” from the public’s interest in his tax affairs, by announcing new laws that did not address the core legality of tax avoidance.

“What they have driven home is what many people have increasingly felt — there is one rule for the super-rich and another for the rest,” Mr Corbyn said.

“I’m honestly not sure that the prime minister fully appreciates the anger that is out there over this injustice.”

The Tory proposals “will not be enough to curb corporate tax avoidance” in British Overseas Territories such as the British Virgin Islands, said ActionAid tax advocacy adviser Charlie Matthews.

“The Panama Papers exposé has shown that British tax havens are being systematically used to hide wealth and avoid taxes in the world’s poorest countries.

“Asking the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to confidentially share company ownership details is a small step forward but is will simply not be enough to tackle this global problem. The government must take even tougher action.”


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