POLITICS

David Cameron Faces Inquiry Over Not Declaring £30,000 Offshore Investment

Labour MP complains after PM did disclose hampers and celebrity training sessions but not interest in father's business

08/04/2016 16:29 | Updated 08 April 2016
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David Cameron with trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts

David Cameron is facing a probe over why he failed to register his £30,000 stake in his father's offshore investment trust after admitting he sold his share before becoming Prime Minister.

Labour MP John Mann is to report Cameron to the Parliamentary standards watchdog, claiming the PM has breached the MPs' Code of Conduct that says any other holding which "might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes" should be made public.

"He has broken the rules and principles of standards in public life," he told The Mirror.

MPs are expected to reveal to Parliament external income in the Register of Members’ Interests, a publicly available ledger regularly updated.

Second jobs, newspaper columns and hospitality they have received are among the most common items politicians register. Cameron's interest in Blairmore Investment Trust, run by his late father Ian, does not appear.

Nick Ansell/PA Archive
John Mann: "Cameron has broken the rules and principles of standards in public life."

Downing Street explained he had declared everything under the rules, as they were in 2009, since "unit trusts" are “not generally registrable”. And while the purpose of the rules is "openness", shareholdings do not have to be registered if they were less than about  £70,000.

The Camerons bought their holding in April 1997 for £12,497 and sold it in January 2010 for £31,500.

Looking back at what the Prime Minister declared around the time of the sale of the Blairmore shares, Cameron appeared keen to record most trivial benefits - but not the potentially embarrassing offshore investment.

Here are seven that appeared in the register in 2010, including cut-price sessions with celebrity trainer Matt Roberts.

1. A Harrods hamper from the Sultan of Brunei, a rug from the Pakistan PM and cufflinks from the King of Bahrain

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2. Interviews for a biography, worth up to £15,000, and donated to charity

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3. Silver goblets and hamper worth up to £3,500

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4. Another hamper from the Sultan of Brunei and a £4,000 painting from the ruler of Dubai, given to Conservative Party HQ

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5. Private jets and helicopters, including journeys over two days worth £8,000

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6. Training sessions with Matt Roberts, which prompted a donation to charity 

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7. Notting Hill family home

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Labour's Owen Smith, shadow work and pensions secretary, told BBC radio: “We have had to drag this out of him. If he wasn’t trying to hide something, why did he not confess to this at the beginning of the week? Why indeed did he not register his interest in this offshore company back in 2005 when he first became an MP?”

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