David Cameron bats away Ashcroft non-dom allegation

Posted On: 
28th September 2015

David Cameron has deflected claims he misled the public over his knowledge of Lord Ashcroft’s non-dom tax status.

Back in March 2010, Mr Cameron claimed the peer’s tax status was news to him, arguing it had “only” been known previously to HMRC and Lord Ashcroft himself.

In an unofficial biography of the Prime Minister however, Lord Ashcroft has claimed Mr Cameron was aware of his non domiciled status a year earlier.

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Mr Cameron this morning sought to pour cold water over the allegation, insisting he had “dealt with” the issue previously.

“I dealt with all that before the election and indeed we backed a law to make sure you couldn’t be a non-dom and sit in either the House of Lords or the House of Commons,” he told Sky News.

On further questioning over the timing of his knowledge, Mr Cameron added: “I answered all that at the time.”

Last week, Mr Cameron’s official spokeswoman refused to be drawn on the claims.

“I’m not going to get into that; that predates the time of not just this government but the last government,” she told journalists.

'SERIOUS QUESTION MARK'

Mr Cameron has come under fire for the allegation, in particular from shadow minister without portfolio Jon Ashworth.

Mr Ashworth demanded Mr Cameron “clarify” when he knew of the peer’s tax status, and argued there was a “serious question mark over the consistency of the Prime Minister’s statements”.

Someone of non-dom tax status is registered as foreign and pays no tax on income earned outside the UK.

LEGAL ACTION?

Mr Cameron said he would not be taking legal action against Lord Ashcroft for allegations in the book, including one involving a “lurid” act with a dead pig.

“I’m too busy running the country taking decisions, getting on with work,” he said, as he landed in New York for a UN summit.

“If you do a job like this you get people who have agendas and write books and write articles and all sorts of things.

“And the most important thing is not to let it bother you – get on with the job.”