#resigncameron protest planned in london this saturday after pm admits benefiting from offshore funds
As the hashtag calling for his resignation trends across social media, David Cameron can expect protesters to gather outside Downing Street from 11am tomorrow, dressed in tropical costume, to protest against the use of offshore tax havens.
anti-austerity march in london, july 2015
After days of mounting pressure following the leak of the Panama Papers, which revealed the details of politicians and celebrities with links to offshore companies that can be used to avoid paying domestic tax, Conservative prime minister David Cameron has admitted benefitting from an offshore trust set up by his father, confessing to having sold shares worth £31,500 just four months before he became prime minister in 2010. He also said he didn't know if the $300,000 he inherited from his father had benefitted from tax haven status, due to part of his estate being based in a trust in Jersey, telling ITV news, "I obviously can't point to the source of every bit of money and dad's not around for me to ask the questions now".
As the hashtag #ResignCameron spreads across social media, protests are being planned for tomorrow, Saturday 9 April, outside the prime minister's home at 10 Downing Street in London from 11am. Protesters travelling from across the UK are planning on wearing tropical-themed outfits to highlight the exotic locations used to register companies in order to avoid paying tax in the UK.
Back in 2012, when the comedian Jimmy Carr was revealed to have channelled funds through a Jersey-based company to avoid paying UK tax, David Cameron described such schemes as "frankly and morally wrong," though he failed to condemn Gary Barlow, who was also implicated, but had campaigned alongside the Conservative leader during the general election.
As the writer and campaigner Colin Holtz writes in the Guardian this morning, "...the truth is that we have all been robbed, systematically, by the world's wealthiest people, for decades. They have used those stolen dollars to build yet more wealth for themselves, and all the while we have been arguing with ourselves over what to do with the leftover pennies".
Earlier this week, the Icelandic prime minister resigned over his involvement with offshore funds that are exposed in the Panama Papers, and the #ResignCameron hashtag and events are designed to make David Cameron go the same way. The description for the Facebook event 'RESIGN! A gathering at Downing Street' reads: "Iceland wouldn't put up with their crooked Prime Minister, and neither should we. It's now clear that David Cameron and his family have benefitted hugely from offshore tax havens, all the while he lectures us on how morally wrong it is, and how his government is closing tax havens down. He's a liar and a hypocrite. Time for him to RESIGN!"
While the protests on Saturday have been spontaneously organised following David Cameron's admission, a protest by the People's Assembly is scheduled for the following Saturday, 16 April, a national demonstration for "Health, Homes, Jobs & Education" that has been refocused in the light of the Panama Papers revelations, and is now also a call for the prime minister's resignation.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Rosie Harriet Ellis