Another Cameron lie: Samantha’s ‘field in Scunthorpe’ is really thousands of acres and is worth £77K

Samantha Cameron: Her Scunthorpe land holdings have been grossly under-represented. Also, she has a £53,000-a-year 'fashion adviser', funded by the taxpayer. Can't she dress herself, then?

Samantha Cameron: Her Scunthorpe land holdings have been grossly under-represented. Also, she has a £53,000-a-year ‘fashion adviser’, funded by the taxpayer. Can’t she dress herself, then?

This illustrates exactly the worrying dichotomy between David Cameron’s worldview and that of the ordinary, right-thinking, people of the UK.

He thinks a share in thousands of acres of arable land, worth £77,000 at current prices, is ownership of “a field”, and he thinks it is acceptable to mis-describe it as such during an investigation of his family’s financial affairs.

It isn’t. And it isn’t.

Perhaps he’d understand that better if all his holdings were seized and a police investigator went through them, line by line, explaining what they really are.

Samantha Cameron’s stepfather Sir Reginald Sheffield owns a portfolio of land in North Lincolnshire. Mrs Cameron owns a £77,000 stake his Normanby Estate Holdings, the Daily Mail reports.

The paper states “it is Samantha’s connections which help to push the family into the financial stratosphere”, citing Sir Reginald Sheffield’s £20 million property portfolio including the “family seat” Normanby Hall.

Mr Cameron previously said his wife didn’t own any properties but “owns a field in Scunthorpe”.

The paper states the PM was referring to “several thousand arable acres in North Lincolnshire belonging to Samantha’s wider family. Farmland in the area is worth more than £5,000 an acre.”

Source: Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron ‘owns £77k stake in Normanby Estate Holdings’ | Scunthorpe Telegraph

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56 thoughts on “Another Cameron lie: Samantha’s ‘field in Scunthorpe’ is really thousands of acres and is worth £77K

  1. Mr.Angry.

    Arable land is presently selling in excess of £8K an acre, another of DC porkies, no David we are not as stupid as like to think we are.

  2. Rik

    Good afternoon all
    Well as Cameron said almost 6 years ago the now famous words “we’re all in in this together” and well they are…
    Thank You

  3. Darren Woodiwiss

    To be fair, agricultural land is about £7K per acre and 11 acres is probably a decent sized field. Granted a decent sized field that you or I will never be able to afford.

  4. jbw31

    I doubt very much that thousands of acres of arable land is standing there doing nothing. I’m pretty sure that they will be earning a nice little bung from whoever they rent it out to.

  5. Terry Davies

    to be in it together with cameron there is a need to meet specific criteria.
    must be prone to use of regular deceit, and have offshore shares. particularly beneficial to cameron and cronies if tax avoidance enables the group member to donate to the tory party.

  6. Ben

    Sorry if I’m being thick here and please don’t mistake this as an attempted defence of our Tory overlords, it isn’t, but if she owns land worth £77k and an acre is £5k, does that not mean she owns about 15.4 arces? Which would, in fact, be a (large) field.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      She owns shares in her step-father’s business, which includes holdings totalling thousands of acres. Cameron lied.

  7. Ken

    If the land Samantha owns is worth £77k (a figure which is not disputed) and land is worth £5k per acre then her land must be about 15.5 acres. That’s not even a large field. It is about the size of a decent field you could graze about 30 cattle on. What is all the fuss about?. Look around you at all the countryside – somebody owns it. Smantha Cameron owns one field. That is not a scandal.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, the stake she owns is a £77,000 share in her step-father’s business. Everything else you assert is therefore mistaken.

      1. John

        Sorry Mike but you’re the one tha t is mistaken. It is equivalent to a 15 acre field. That is not a large field and in that neck of the woods a large field is probably at least double that. The value of shares reflects the value of the holding or the value of the company. This is all just petulant rubbish.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        It is. I wonder why you bothered to post it.
        Your comment has been answered already, several times; I refer you to those answers.
        Oh, and have you contacted the Daily Mail and the Scunthorpe Telegraph with these criticisms? The Scunthorpe paper’s comment column suggests you haven’t. Why single me out?

  8. Dennis Brian Patton

    er…. 10 acres at £5k an acre….. is £50k (this isn’t rocket science) … see if you can work out how many acres you can get for £77k.

    I’ll save you the bother… its about 15 acres. Not ‘thousands’

    You must remain credible, to remain credible.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And a simple mistake is still only a simple mistake. Except this wasn’t a mistake. David Cameron lied, his wife doesn’t own a field but draws down a share in the profits of a very large business.
      Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

      1. tim rolls

        A very appropriate phrase, Mike. I am no fan of the PM, but your headline Thousands of acres is really making a mountain of molehills out of very few. £77k is only going to buy quite a modest field at those prices so not really a big story.. Please check your figures before publishing or you’re putting yourself in the same bracket as them. Otherwise, keep up the good work.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        No. Stop. You are proceeding from a false premise. She does not own a field – that was a lie made by David Cameron. She owns a stake in a business that includes thousands of acres, exactly as the headline describes.

  9. Stuart Bingham

    I’m no fan of the Camerons, but by your calculation Sam Cam owns 15.4 acres, which in Lincolnshire is a field, admittedly a big field, but a field.

  10. grahamstocks

    The Bagmoor Wind Farm is on Sir Reginald’s land near Scunthorpe. This brings in a handsome annual income – probably higher in value than that of the land.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      When you’re right, you’re right.
      But you’re not. The original version of this response was an apology, made right after I came back to the blog from elsewhere, and your comment caught me by surprise. Further reflection reveals that you were proceeding from a false premise, so I retract my apology.

  11. Michael Broadhurst

    camoron’s wife using £53,000 of taxpayers money to engage a “fashion advisor” also wants looking into.

  12. Mike Sivier Post author

    Thanks to everybody who has written in to say that £77,000 buys just 15.4 acres of land at current prices.
    I did change the story briefly to reflect this – then I changed it back when I realised that the available facts suggest Samantha Cameron doesn’t own a 15.4 acre field but rather has a stake in the many thousands of acres that comprise her stepfather’s holdings, and would receive a dividend from any business taking place on it.
    Again, this is only what may be concluded from the evidence available which mean – again – that David Cameron has been economical with the facts.
    One fact that seems perfectly clear is that Mrs Cameron is not the owner of a small field.

  13. Ken

    I don’t think it’s a simple mistake at all. You were so desperate to make political capital out of something that’s a complete non-story that you failed to engage your brain at all. It is in your headline that Samantha Cameron’s interest is worth £77k That’s not a lot of money in capital terms. How much is the average house worth? There is nothing “Dodgy” (to quote your friend the Beast of Bolsover) about what Cameron’s father did, Cameron’s ownership of shares in it, his sale of them or his wife’s property ownership. Mrs Cameron owns shares in a compny controlled by her extended family. That is neither immoral nor illegal.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It is not ownership of a field in Scunthorpe, so David Cameron lied to the people of the United Kingdom right there.
      Cameron’s father’s decisions were deeply dodgy, as you describe it. He sought advice on how best to withhold tax money from the country that gave him everything he had, and then he followed that advice. He set up a company, the purpose of which was to create profit without any tax liability, and he benefited from that tax-free profit. David Cameron also benefited from dividends composed of those untaxed profits for 13 years. How much money did this constitute? I don’t know but when he sold his shares in 2010, they were worth more than twice as much as when he’d received them in 1997. That indicates extremely strong growth – tax-free. Cameron sold those shares right before he became prime minister, and it seems clear that this was in order to avoid criticism for holding shares in a firm that is based in a tax haven, during his election campaign. If his ownership of those shares wasn’t dodgy, he would not have done that. Let’s face it – the shares were healthy; there was no reason to sell.
      I can see you’re working very hard to justify Cameron and undermine his opponents but you are on a hiding to nothing. There is no acceptable justification for his behaviour.
      But keep trying if you like – it will no doubt amuse many other readers.

      1. Ken

        I hold no affection for Cameron but you really are trying to make capital out of nothing. There is nothing dodgy about an offshore trust. There is no tax avoidance in it. The trust itself makes no profit because it distributes any surplus annally in the form of a dividend to its sharehiolders upon which they pay tax. If you want to invest money in shares which are denominated in dollars, you set the trust up in a country which deals in that currency. You then bring all the profits of that investment back to the UK and pay tax on it. Who has lost tax revenue? The UK have only gained in terms of income tax receipts and, as the trust itself makes no profits (because it distributes them entirely) there is no corporation tax to pay in any country so NO tax has been avoided. Do your homework. All you’ve done is hear the word “offshore” and assumed that this equates to tax avoidance. It doesn’t, Presumably you’d like to shut down all the pension funds and insurance companies who invest your money in unit trusts? Good luck.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I don’t believe you.
        I think you’re a Tory who has been employed to carry out damage control on an issue that is ruining Cameron.
        That’s why you keep coming back. That’s why you keep adding extra comments to your original claims.
        That’s why you’re making claims about me that have no basis in reality.
        I think I’ve had enough of you now. Don’t come back.

    2. mohandeer

      Currently the Tories are trying to push through plans to build on Green field sites. ie arable land. Anyone owning lots of acreage stands to make a fortune when it is sold off with planning permission, not difficult if you have the money and influence to grease the right palms.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes indeed, and the facts indicate it is a share in thousands of acres of fields, from which a dividend is drawn at regular intervals.
      So it seems that, once again, David Cameron was not telling the truth – or even providing an accurate summary of the facts.

  14. Rod Allday

    Why will you not acknowledge that for you to say that she owns thousands of acres is disingenuous. To not do so risks discrediting anything else that you claim

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Read the article again. I don’t say she owns thousands of acres.
      I see the Tory damage control operation is really scraping the barrel.

  15. EB

    This seems to be utterly desperate. 15 acres is not a big field, and however you spin it that is what Samantha Cameron’s share of whatever it is her dad is said to own amounts to. Maybe not an actual field, but the equivalent of one. As for DC’ investments, what is the allegation? The investment grew well – so what? He sold it for a profit. So what? His share of the profit was within the CGT limits so no tax would be due there (as far as I understand it) and I haven’t heard anyone claim that he hasn’t paid any income tax or other tax that was due. Lots of ordinary people that I advise as a lawyer in a small provincial Scottish town regularly look to minimise their tax liability, not through “dodgy-ness” but just through everyday financial good sense. Ordinary people with ordinary jobs invariably take steps to minimise tax liability. They are not dodgy. I’m not looking to defend Cameron or anyone else but this is a non story.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Here’s a commenter who is well behind the times.
      Your comments have already been answered and your claims about yourself and your work simply don’t ring true.

  16. Michael Broadhurst

    forget about the field,more to the point is the £53,000 CaMoron’s wife allegedly used of taxpayers money to employ a “fashion advisor “.
    this should be investigated.

  17. Barbara

    Bottom line they are wealthy why pay someone to dress her or pick her outfit out be glad to see the back of them Cameron has turned this country into a disgrace

  18. mohandeer

    Dear “Ken” , whoever you are, I lived next door to a Tax Advisor and I also knew a neighbour who moved money to the Isle of Man and knew very well how to make offshore Accounts pay “dividends” as you call them. Either you are extremely naive or you are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
    Anyone wishing to know how offshore accounts/trusts operate you need only look at any Economy and Tax publication like that of Richard Murphy, to learn what these entail. A consortium of interested parties with land that they hang onto is waiting to realise vast profits when the land receives planning permission. You take a chance on it, buying the land, but there is an element of nudge, nudge, wink wink because lo and behold, the land suddenly acquires said planning rights for housing developments. The land the extended Sir Reginald clan hold will of course be worth millions, providing they keep it in the family. No doubt to be invested in offshore accounts, not your transparent B of E local.

    1. Ken

      Now you are adding Samantha Cameron’s step-father’s land holdings to David Cameron’t father’s offshore shareholdings and making mischief. That is not what David Cameron’s father’s trust did and you know it. I don’t know if Samantha Cameron’s father’s land is held offshore and, I suspect, neither do you. No, I am not naive and whether your neighbour or your postman knows about tax is neither here nor there. If you wish to make an argument, tell me what taxes Cameron’s father avoided by registering his unit trust offshore.

    1. grahamstocks

      Letter in today’s Guardian:

      • ‘Although I am delighted with the opportunity to read the recent tax returns that David Cameron and George Osborne have chosen to share (Letters, 11 April), I feel that the taxable income of their nearest and dearest might be worth a peek too.
      Ian Grieve
      Steyning, West Sussex’

  19. Graeme leighton

    So her holding is valued at 77,000 that equates to less than 10 acres so it’s a field so what’s the fuss

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You have a very poor understanding of the situation. Try reading the article and some of the other comments and you should become better-informed.

      1. JohnDee

        Mike, all these damage-limitation (s)tory shills are not here to read your articles or add anything serious to the discussion.

        Isn’t there some way you can filter out the noise these aholes are creating so people can have serious discussions on the issues instead of being distracted by (s)tory apologists?

        I know my local rag refuses to publish my comments when they don’t conform to the party line. What’s good for the goose….

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Then I would get a bad reputation for censoring adverse viewpoints. Some have tried that one already but of course it doesn’t stick while everyone can see the facts.

  20. db (@baaddding)

    What you ought to have included in your article is that some of this land is occupied by wind turbines, which are subsidised by all other energy users and taxpayers, or in other words the general public. That means the income Samantha receives as share dividends is taxpayer funded doesn’t it?
    Of course local people objected to the building of these turbines but after several expensive appeals by Ridgewind, the turbine owners, permission was eventually given, construction on the second lot lot started funnily enough just before Cameron announced he would be ending subsidies for on-shore wind farms. “We’re all in this together” they sure are!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re absolutely right that I should have mentioned the wind farm but I wasn’t aware of it at the time.
      I wrote a further article in which it was included, but the taxpayer funding is an interesting extra twist.

Comments are closed.