Cameron will not face probe over off-shore controversy

PM David Cameron
PM David Cameron

Standards watchdogs will not investigate Prime Minister David Cameron over the off-shore controversy revealed by the Panama Papers data leak.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, has decided not to probe the matter, but her office refused to explain the reasons for that decision.

Mr Cameron was forced into the position where he had to release a six-year summary of his tax affairs after it emerged he made a £19,000 profit from selling shares in an off-shore trust set up by his father, Ian.

The Prime Minister insisted he was not involved in a tax dodge, and the way the trust was set up was entirely proper.

But Mr Cameron did admit he had badly handled the subsequent furore after details of the business emerged in the Panama Papers leaking.

Mr Cameron said he had initially been angry about the way his father’s memory had been “traduced” as a result of the controversy.

After the political storm erupted, Mr Cameron said he was happy to provide more information about his personal finances to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner if required.

Mr Cameron said he sold his shares in the off-shore trust Blairmore Holdings in January 2010, five months before becoming PM, because he wanted to avoid any conflict of interest.

“I did not want anyone to be able to suggest that as prime minister I had any other agendas or vested interests. Selling all my shares was the simplest and clearest way that I could do that,” Mr Cameron told the Commons at the beginning of last week.

The Prime Minister said at the time he had given information on the affair to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.