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David Cameron’s investment in the Cayman Islands-based Vietnam Enterprise Fund emerged after the Panama Papers [Image: Hannah McKay/PA].

David Cameron’s investment in the Cayman Islands-based Vietnam Enterprise Fund emerged after the Panama Papers [Image: Hannah McKay/PA].

This Blog was one of many social media sites, organisations and individuals that called for David Cameron’s resignation when the ‘Panama Papers’ scandal broke earlier this year.

Now, his former director of communications has revealed that he was close to resigning and the revelation that he had another tax-avoiding foreign holding could have forced his hand.

But Craig Oliver said it never came to that because he simply did not release the information.

Nothing in the Guardian article quoted below shows that Cameron was accurate in the statement he eventually released, that “the prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds”.

And public opinion is likely to have swung against him in a big way if the Vietnamese holding had become public knowledge.

So get angry. Politicians are supposed to declare all their assets and interests to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority but the then prime minister had clearly flouted this rule.

It makes no sense to say he had an investment that did not benefit him or his family. Why have it, then?

But our watchdogs appear to have let us down.

I think this deserves greater investigation. How many more MPs are fabricating their entry in the register of members’ interests?

Downing Street officials were alarmed to discover that David Cameron had a holding in a Vietnamese investment fund registered in the Cayman Islands at the height of the Panama Papers revelations, according to a book by his former director of communications.

Sir Craig Oliver became aware that the then prime minister had previously invested “in something called the Vietnamese Enterprise Fund” following the Guardian’s investigation into the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The information was not released to the media at the time, after Oliver and his team decided: “We think it’s fine, but what if it’s not?”

The Vietnam Enterprise Fund is run by Dragon Capital in Vietnam, but registered in the Cayman Islands. Dominic Scriven, the chief executive of Dragon Capital, confirmed that Cameron had previously invested in the fund, and believed his father, Ian Cameron, had decided to invest the money.

In an attempt to control the story in April, Downing Street brought in a series of experts to try to make sense of Blairmore’s tax affairs, Oliver’s book said. They also carried out an analysis of Cameron’s personal tax arrangements and it was during this that the Vietnam Enterprise Fund investment emerged.

At the time, Cameron was facing one of the worst crises of his premiership, with Oliver acknowledging that at one point, he thought the then prime minister might have to resign over the Panama Papers.

Oliver wrote that Cameron and his wife, Samantha, had “an unhappy couple of hours in calls” with their accountant, before putting out a statement saying that the “prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds”.

Source: Cameron adviser reveals No 10’s alarm at his holding in offshore fund | Politics | The Guardian

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