King’s Lynn MP uneasy on tax return publication question

MP Sir Henry Bellingham
MP Sir Henry Bellingham
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Lynn MP Sir Henry Bellingham says he would publish his tax returns, if he was required to do so.

His comments came after prime minister David Cameron admitted he had profited from an offshore trust owned by his late father and uncovered in leaked papers from a Panama law firm, but paid all due taxes when he sold them.

Mr Cameron, chancellor George Osborne, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, have all now published their tax returns.

And Sir Henry has welcomed that move, saying it was appropriate for people either managing the nation’s finances, or who aspire to do so, setting out their records.

Asked if he would follow suit, he admitted he was not planning to, adding: “If I had to, I would do so.”

He said MPs are already subject to much tighter rules than in many other countries and highlighted the information available in the Register of Members’ Interests.

He added: “There is a high degree of transparency already and I wouldn’t want it to go any further.”

And he feared such a requirement may put people off going into politics at all.

He said: “We want the brightest and the best here.”