Rupert Murdoch has hit out at David Cameron and George Osborne - deriding the pair as "posh boys" lobbied by Google executives cleverly planted in Downing street.
The News International boss warned that global tech companies would "ruin local businesses who pay" following revelations that Google would pay only £130 million in back-taxes - which critics say amounts to just a 3% tax rate.
In a series of posts on social media, Murdoch claimed the search engine giant had orchestrated the "most brilliant new lobbying effort yet" by infiltrating the corridors of power in Westminster and the White House.
Tech tax breaks facilitated by politicians easily awed by Valley ambassadors like Google chairman Schmidt eg, posh boys in Downing St.@— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 27, 2016
Google has cleverly planted dozens of their people in White House, Downing St, other governments.
Most brilliant new lobbying effort yet.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 27, 2016
He went on to call for stronger tax laws to clamp down on companies that avoid paying millions of pounds in corporation tax, but admitted that Google had not contravened statute.
Google et al broke no tax laws. Now paying token amounts for p r purposes. Won't work. Need strong new laws to pay like the rest of us.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 27, 2016
Global tech companies making enormous profits most places, funneling $$ thru tax havens. Unless stopped will ruin local businesses who pay.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 27, 2016
Some took Murdoch's outburst at Google's extensive planting of employees in senior government offices as an opportunity to remind him of the influence his own staff wielded in close proximity to the prime minister.
@rupertmurdoch You had Rebekah in Dave's kitchen and Andy in his office.— GOsborneGenius (@GOsborneGenius) January 27, 2016
@rupertmurdoch What you mean just like you— Audere2010 (@Audere2010) January 27, 2016
@rupertmurdoch Bit rich.— Auntie Hel (@helstweets) January 27, 2016
The media baron's comments come just hours after one of Cameron's closest aides warned the dominance of firms like Google had led to people believing the companies are "above the law".
Steve Hilton, the prime minister's ex-director of strategy, said on Wednesday that there was growing "anger" at the behaviour of large companies.
"I think that there is a growing sense that companies that are so big and so dominant, not just in the marketplace but in the way they relate to government and their lobbying efforts and so on, that they really are above the law," he told BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme.