Northamptonshire South MP Andrea Leadsom has rebuked claims in national newspapers that she used trusts to reduce her tax bill as ‘totally untrue’.
The newly installed treasury minister made the response after a story emerged in the Independent and other media alleging that in 2004 she chose to place the shares of a property company she owned with her husband – Bandal ltd – into trusts for the benefit of her three children in order to avoid inheritance tax.
The paper also accused the MP of obtaining loans for two of its buy-to-let properties with a Jersey branch of an investment bank in a further tax avoidance scheme in 2006. The reports did not accuse Ms Leadsom of doing anything illegal but made the link to Chancellor George Osborne stating an important part of his economic plan was clamping down on those using offshore banks.
But Ms Leadsom adamantly denied the allegations made in the reports.
She said: “Bandal Ltd is a totally UK company that is illegible for tax on all its profit. There is no offshore element of Bandal Ltd and there are no tax avoidance schemes.”
Ms Leadsom stepped down as director of Bandal in February.
The former banker, who was elected as an MP in 2010, added: “I have paid tax on absolutely everything I have earned with the only exception being the year I worked for Barclays in Sydney, Australia.”
Ms Leadsom said she had no intention of providing any futher statement on the matter at this stage.
However councillor John McGhee, the Leader of the Labour Group at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “She must provide a full explanation regarding the arrangements and confirm reasons she put them in place.
“Revelations such as these damage the public’s confidence in politics and politicians. It is therefore important that Ms Leadsom comes forward with answers to these serious questions as soon as possible.”