Jeremy Corbyn urges Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid to publish tax returns as he makes anti-elite election pitch

Posted On: 
31st October 2019

Jeremy Corbyn has challenged both Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid to publish their tax returns ahead of the general election.

Jeremy Corbyn urged the top Tory figures to publish details of their tax information

The Labour leader made the demand as he launched his election campaign with a pledge to "go after" tax dodgers and take on the UK's "corrupt" financial system.

Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have routinely published their tax returns since 2015, with the most recent figures showing the Labour leader paid just over £46,000 to the HMRC for the 2017/18 tax year.

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Meanwhile, Mr McDonnell coughed up £25,533 over the same period.

Speaking to supporters during his campaign launch in Battersea on Thursday, Mr Corbyn urged the Prime Minister and Shadow Chancellor to be transparent about their tax affairs.

“There are two people who must publish their tax returns in my opinion, and that is the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister," he said.

"I’m not sure they do, but John McDonnell and I do publish our tax returns in full.”

He added: “In fact, the first time my tax return was published they realised - after they managed to read my handwriting - that actually I’d been overly generous and given the Inland Revenue more than I should have done. But that’s OK, I don’t want it back, it’s fine.”

Mr Johnson has previously published his tax returns, revealing in 2016 that he had paid a whopping £1m to the Exchequer on his salary as London mayor and substantial earnings made from his newspaper columns and speaking arrangements.

But neither Mr Johnson or Chancellor Sajid Javid have indicated that they would be willing to shed light on their financial affairs since taking over their top jobs.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May also refused a request from Mr Corbyn in 2018 to publish details of her earnings, despite having released a summary of her finances as part of her 2016 Tory leadership bid.

The request came as Mr Corbyn launched his campaign with a blistering attack on "tax dodgers, dodgy landlords, bad bosses and big polluters".

Flanked by the Shadow Cabinet, he asked supporters: "You know what really scares the elite?

“What they’re actually afraid of is paying their taxes. So in this election they’ll fight harder and dirtier than ever before. They’ll throw everything at us because they know we’re not afraid to take them on.

“So we’re going after the tax dodgers. We’re going after the dodgy landlords. We’re going after the bad bosses. We’re going after the big polluters. Because we know whose side we’re on."