A millionaire industrialist has sharply attacked David Cameron over tax evasion claims after he was mentioned in parliament over Swiss bank accounts of wealthy British residents.
Lord Swraj Paul, chairman of the Caparo Group of Industries is among those who hold accounts in HSBC Bank in Switzerland. He has maintained that all his bank accounts are legitimate.
The row comes amid allegations HSBC’s Swiss private bank may have helped wealthy clients avoid or evade tax.
Sharp exchanges took place in the House of Commons yesterday between Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband who said that those who held Swiss bank accounts included seven persons who had donated nearly five million pounds to the Conservative Party.
Cameron said that the list included Labour donor Lord Paul who had funded former prime minister Gordon Brown’s election campaign.
Paul is said to have donated five million pounds to the Labour Party. However Miliband said that none of those who held the Swiss accounts had given a penny to the Labour Party on his watch. He attacked Cameron as a “dodgy Prime Minister surrounded by dodgy donors”.
Responding to the proceedings in the Commons, Paul said in a statement later that when Cameron “is in a hole, he has the habit of giving sound bytes instead of answering questions put to him.”
He made donations to the Labour Party during 1993-2009 and these had come from his company Caparo which had been recorded in balance sheets, he said.
Paul told reporters that everybody knew that he had donated to the Labour party until he was a member. He left the party in 2010 and became a cross-bencher not attached to any single party.