POLITICS

David Cameron Must Show Voters They Can Trust Him, Says Tory Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt

MPs are now under pressure to publish their tax returns

10/04/2016 12:08
BBC

David Cameron needs to show voters they can trust him following revelations about his tax affairs, a Conservative minister has said.

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme this morning, defence minister Penny Mordaunt said she did not think the prime minister had "done anything wrong".

“I don’t think it's damaged his credibility," she said. "I think what this is about is trust. And he has to now demonstrate and build up that trust and rapport with the general public."

Mordaunt is campaigning for the UK to leave the EU, in opposition to the prime minister who wants the public to choose to remain.

Earlier on Sunday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it would be a good idea of all MPs, and political journalists, were forced to publish their tax returns.

Mordaunt indicated she was open to the idea despite concerns about privacy and security. "If that is what the electorate require of their elected officials, I think that is what will have to happen," she said.

Cameron faced a fresh row over his personal finances after Downing Street revealed he had been given a £200,000 gift by his mother following his father's death which could potentially avoid inheritance tax.

Asked by the BBCs Andrew Marr whether all people who stand for election as well as political journalists and newspaper editors should have to reveal their financial details, Corbyn said it that would be a "good thing".

"I think we need to consider how far it goes, how far it goes to other people involved in public life," he said.

Speaking to Sky News, justice minister Dominic Raab accused Corbyn of "whipping up a mob mentality" over the prime minister's tax affairs.

"Amidst all the froth and frenzy of the media debate, it seems crystal clear that not only has not done anything illegal but that he’s not behaved improperly in any way and he’s gone further than any prime minister previously in publishing these tax returns and I think he wanted to show that he has got absolutely nothing to hide. Frankly, some of the personalised attacks on him and on his father have been deeply unsavoury," he said.

Number 10 has said that the two payments to the prime minister from his mother of £100,000 in 2011 came on top of the £300,000 Cameron inherited from his father Ian.

The information was revealed as part of an unprecedented release of information about the prime minister's finances, which showed that he paid more than £400,000 in tax on an income of more than £1 million over six years from 2009 to 2015.

The payments by Mary Cameron to her son in May and July 2011 were given tax free, and will only become liable to inheritance tax of up to 40% if the Prime Minister's mother dies within seven years of handing over the money.

The release of the information by Downing Street followed the furore over the Panama Papers data leak and the revelation that Cameron and his wife Samantha made a £19,000 profit on shares in an offshore trust set up by the prime minister's father.

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