MPs have called for Gary Barlow to hand back his OBE after he allegedly invested in a tax avoidance scheme.
Gary, his Take That bandmates Mark Owen and Howard Donald, and their manager are facing huge bills after it was revealed by The Times that they reportedly paid into the £66 million Icebreaker Management partnership, which was billed as a music-industry investment scheme.
Gary received his OBE in 2012
The Take That singers now face tax bills of around £20 million.
The Times reports that Judge Colin Bishop told the court that “Icebreaker is, and was known and understood by all concerned to be, a tax avoidance scheme.”
Now Labour’s Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said Barlow “might want to show a bit of contrition by giving back his OBE”.
She was backed by Tory Charlie Elphicke who told The Sun: “People who have seriously abused the tax system should be stripped of honours.”
But David Cameron has said he does not think the singer should be forced to give back his OBE, despite publicly attacking the comedian Jimmy Carr last year for his involvement with a tax avoidance scheme.
The Prime Minister, who appeared with the Tory-supporting Take That star during the 2010 General Election campaign, said: "Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for charity, raising a huge amount for Children in Need."
Mr Cameron went on to tell Sky News that the singer was appointed is OBE for his charity work and the tax avoidance issue shouldn't affect that.
Gary has yet to comment on the reports that he and his bandmates will have to repay millions but at the time of investing, lawyers for Gary, Howard and Mark confirmed they were involved in the partnerships but insisted the trio believed they were “legitimate enterprises”.
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