Philip and Theresa May.

We all know the official story – neither the prime minister nor her husband have anything to do with tax avoidance.

Downing Street was asked to confirm Mrs May’s – and her husband’s – tax arrangements yesterday and it seems the response has now come through:

“Neither the prime minister or Mr May have direct offshore investments, their investments have been declared to the cabinet office and are held in a blind trust,” a spokesman told reporters.

A blind trust is one in which the beneficiaries have no knowledge of the holdings and no right to intervene in their handling.

This means it is entirely possible that this trust is involved in tax avoidance schemes, even though Mrs May might not know about it.

Her husband’s situation is even more grim, as it has already been reported that his company is directly involved in tax avoidance. Here‘s The Independent – from last year:

The relatively unknown investment fund where Theresa May’s husband Philip works as a senior executive is one of the world’s largest and most powerful financial institutions, controlling $1.4 trillion in assets.

Its portfolio also includes $20 billion of shares in Amazon and Starbucks, both of which were cited by the Prime Minister-designate in her pledge to crack down on tax avoidance

Both situations provide the Mays with plausible deniability. A blind trust denies the beneficiary any control, and Mr May can say he is not involved with the accounts of companies that avoid tax.

But, in the light of this information, does anybody really think Mrs May is the prime minister who is going to crack down on tax avoidance?


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