James Calls Out Tax Avoidance By Peer Who Has Donated Millions To The Conservative Party

6 November 2017, 11:42

James O'Brien rails against Lord Ashcroft and wants to know if it's always been like this.

The Labour party is calling for a public inquiry into tax avoidance, after a huge leak of documents revealed the financial arrangements of the rich and powerful.

The so-called Paradise Papers include claims that the Queen has £10 million of her private estate invested in an offshore tax haven.

There's no suggestion that those involved acted illegally.

Lord Ashcroft, who donated millions to the Conservative party, has also been embroiled in the scandal.

He remained a non-dom, and continued to avoid tax despite attempts by Parliament to make peers pay their full share, the papers reveal.

It was widely believed he had given up the status after William Hague announced as such in the House of Commons, the peer was actually domiciled for tax purposes in Belize.

James O'Brien was incredulous - he couldn't believe the lack of vitriol, given the volume of "don't talk the country down" comments.

He argued the greatest form of patriotism was to pay your taxes, contributing to society, and railed against the rank hypocrisy of lecturing on the topic when you weren't paying yourself.

"He buys influence in the Conservative party with money he's saved avoiding taxes."

Watch the full clip at the top of this page.

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