Britain’s Cameron says he mishandled ‘Panama Papers’ tax scrutiny

British Prime Minister David Cameron tells Conservative Party supporters that he should have handled scrutiny of his family’s tax arrangements better and promised to learn the lessons after days of negative media coverage and calls for his resignation

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (APRIL 9, 2016) (UK POOL) – British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Saturday (April 9) he should have handled scrutiny of his family’s tax arrangements better and promised to learn the lessons after days of negative media coverage and calls for his resignation.

Four days after the the “Panama Papers” were published Cameron admitted to ITV News on Thursday (April 7) he and his wife had once had a stake in his father’s offshore trust and had profited from it. The Blairmore Holdings, the fund created by his father Ian, were included in the ‘Panama Papers’.

This was after several and different statements that did not include the admission and critics called for the leader to resign. The opposition Labour Party has demanded Cameron make a statement to Parliament on Monday.

“Well, it’s not been a great week,” Cameron acknowledged at a London meeting of members of his ruling Conservative Party.

“I know that I should have handled this better, I could have handled this better. I know there are lessons to learn and I will learn them.”

Cameron’s late father, Ian, was among tens of thousands of people named in leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca which showed how the world’s rich and powerful are able to conceal wealth and avoid taxes.

Cameron said his father bequeathed some 300,000 pounds to him, but didn’t say if any of that money had come from offshore funds.

The prime minister said his father also held investments in a trust in Jersey, a British crown dependency with a special tax law.

The scandal hit just weeks before British citizens are due to vote on a referendum to stay or leave the European Union and at the same time as a steel crisis that hit the loss-making British Tata steel operations.

There is no indication that he or his father had done anything illegal, but by casting a spotlight on the Eton-educated Cameron’s wealth, the admission has fuelled a public perception that his Conservative Party rules to protect the rich while punishing the poorest with its austerity push.