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Corbyn demands Queen cash probe.

THE Queen's finances should fall within the scope of an investigation into the Paradise Papers leak, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested.

The Labour leader indicated the monarch should apologise if her private estate invested PS10 million of her personal fortune offshore to avoid paying tax in Britain. The disclosure of 13.4 million previouslysecret documents reportedly ties major companies and political figures to secretive overseas arrangements.

It includes claims that the Queen has PS10 million of her personal fortune invested in an offshore tax haven.

There is no suggestion that those involved acted illegally.

Asked if the Queen should apologise for the offshore investments revealed in the papers, Mr Corbyn told the CBI's annual conference in London: "Well, anyone that is putting money into tax havens in order to avoid taxation in Britain, and obviously investigations have to take place, should do two things - not just apologise for it but also recognise what it does to our society.

"If the very wealthy person wants to avoid taxation in Britain and therefore put money into a tax haven somewhere, who loses? Schools, hospitals, housing, all those public services lose and the rest of the population have to pay to cover up the deficit created by that.

"And so I think with the Paradise Papers, which I have been reading through like all of us this morning, are quite shocking."

Later he told Bloomberg TV there should be "an inquiry into all the revelations about the Paradise Papers".

Asked if that included the Queen, Mr Corbyn replied: "Everybody. The Royal Household are subject to taxation. I don't know what has happened in that case. These issues all must be part of that."

After Mr Corbyn's comments, a spokesman for the Labour leader insisted he did not call for the Queen to apologise.

"Jeremy did not call for the Queen to apologise but said anyone who puts money into a tax haven to avoid paying tax should, and that they should recognise the damage done by avoidance to society," the spokesman said.

The Duchy of Lancaster, the private estate of the Queen, was found to have millions of pounds invested in offshore arrangements.

Around PS10 million from the Queen's private fund was paid into funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda between 2004 and 2005, according to reports.

A small part of the money was traced to a lender which has previously been criticised for ripping off customers.

The Queen voluntarily pays tax on any income she receives from the Duchy. A spokesman for the estate said: "We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate." Mr Corbyn called for a public inquiry into tax avoidance to urgently restore public confidence in the tax system.

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The Queen's finances have come under scrutiny

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 7, 2017
Words:475
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