David Cameron faces MPs over 'Panama Papers' leak
David Cameron will face MPs this afternoon to respond to leaks in the so-called ‘Panama Papers’.
In a bid to move the argument away from his own finances, the Prime Minister has announced the Government is bringing forward plans to introduce a criminal offence for companies which do not stop employees facilitating tax evasion.
Mr Cameron said: “This Government has done more than any other to take action against corruption in all its forms, but we will go further.
“That is why we will legislate this year to hold companies who fail to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion criminally liable."
The offence, first announced last year, will be included in the Queen’s Speech.
The Prime Minister has also put a date on his Anti-Corruption Summit. The meeting will take place on 12 May and will look at issues of corruption and transparency worldwide.
Mr Cameron will make a Commons statement later today.
The Government confirmed yesterday that HMRC and the National Crime Agency will lead a cross-government taskforce to look into the revelations in the Panama Papers.
The Guardian reveals today that HMRC’s executive chair Edward Troup was a partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons, which acted for a number of companies named in the documents.
Labour, meanwhile, is calling for an independent public inquiry into the leak in order to consider reforms needed to crack down on tax avoidance and evasion, as part of a ten-point plan for ‘tax transparency enforcement’.
Other measures include the mandatory reporting of MPs’ offshore holdings in the register of interests and doubling the number of HMRC staff working on high net worth companies and individuals.