Tory Donor 'Slept On Private Jet' Outside British Airspace To Avoid Tax

Posted: 9/04/2012 12:33 Updated: 10/04/2012 08:41

A wealthy Tory donor flew his private jet out of British airspace at night in order to avoid paying tax, according to a lobbyist caught up in the cash-for-access row.

The Sunday Times reported that the unnamed contributor was said to frequently sleep on board his plane so as to maintain his status as a non-resident and therefore pay less in tax.

Under tax rules people are classified as residents if they spent 91 days in the UK over the course of a year.

The claim was made by Sarah Southern, the former aide to David Cameron who was secretly filmed advising undercover reporters posing as business people how to gain access to the prime minister.

She said flying their private jets out of the Britain to fly round in circles was worth it for the super-rich.

“I know someone who will sometimes get on his jet and fly out and fly back in after midnight. So he’s not been there for a whole day," she said.

She added: “You can sleep on your jet three times a week. You can do whatever you want. The world literally is your oyster".

A political storm erupted in March after the Sunday Times revealed the co-treasurer of the Conservative Party, Peter Cruddas, was telling potential donors that they could influence government policy in exchange for money. A charge the party denied.

The fallout forced the prime minister to publish a list of significant donors who had visited Downing Street and his private country residence, Chequers.

Horsegate
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After it emerged that the Metropolitan police had given a retired police horse to Rebekah Brooks, speculation mounted over whether her close neighbour and friend, David Cameron, had ridden it.

After many confusing denials and non-denials, the Prime Minister had to confess that he may have once ridden that horse, Raisa.
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Filed by Ned Simons  |