Tory backbencher Charles Walker: Forcing MPs to publish tax returns is like a ban on curtains

Posted On: 
8th April 2016

A senior Conservative backbencher has dismissed the case for MPs to publish their tax returns, comparing it to peering through people’s curtains. 

Conservative MP Charles Walker has pledged to resist attempts to require him to publish his tax return.
PA Images

Downing Street has suggested David Cameron’s own tax return will be released in the near future – something No 10 first said it would do in 2012 – after the row about his £30,000 share sale in overseas-based Blairmore.

The main candidates for Mayor of London have published their returns, and there have been calls for MPs to follow suit.

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But Charles Walker, who is vice-chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, warned such a move would be a “slippery slope”.

The Tory MP told Sky News: “If we do publish tax returns because people say ‘nothing to fear, nothing to hide’, I’ll bring forward a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament to ban curtains from people’s homes on the same basis: nothing to fear, nothing to hide.

“Why should I have my right to look into someone’s home impinged by a curtain? This is dangerous territory and I just urge caution... Once we go down this slippery slope, you may well be next.”

He added: “It’s a totally ridiculous notion; it’s utter nonsense. Privacy has to mean something in this country.” 

When he revealed his share sale yesterday, Mr Cameron said he was “happy to make them [his tax arrangements] more transparent”.