Cameron faces Parliament for 1st time in offshore funds row

AP News
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Posted: Apr 10, 2016 9:16 PM
Cameron faces Parliament for 1st time in offshore funds row

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron, under fire over his past investment in an offshore fund, faces an expected grilling Monday from opposition lawmakers when he addresses Parliament for the first time since the Panama Papers scandal shed light on the tax-haven tactics of the rich and famous.

Opposition leaders say Cameron has failed to answer key questions about his tax affairs despite his publication Sunday of his income and tax payments since 2009, becoming the first British leader to make such a disclosure.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says Cameron should publish his full income tax returns and declare all of his investments, past and present, in offshore funds, and his leading Cabinet ministers including Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne should do likewise.

Cameron has been on the defensive for the past week after his late father, Ian, was identified as a client of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specializes in registering offshore companies which just suffered the biggest data leak in corporate history with 11.5 million files from four decades' work leaking to journalists.

Cameron initially sidestepped questions about whether he had invested in his stockbroker father's offshore funds but admitted Thursday he did buy shares in a Bahamas-registered trust from 1997 to 2010, selling the stake shortly before he became prime minister.

The prime minister sounded defiant ahead of Monday's parliamentary speech on combating tax evasion. He issued a statement defending his government's record of closing tax loopholes and noting his plans to oversee an inaugural London Anti-Corruption Summit on May 12.

Cameron said his government would introduce a bill that would hold employers criminally liable if they permit employees to promote tax-dodging schemes.

Cameron said his 6-year-old administration "has done more than any other to take action against corruption in all its forms, but we will go further."