The man hailed by some as one of personal privacy’s greatest defenders has expressed surprise at a statement made by David Cameron about the Panama Papers leaked yesterday.
Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower who revealednumerous covert global surveillance programs, was shocked by the PM’s insistence that his father’s implication in the list of high-profile tax avoiders was “a private matter”.
The late Ian Cameron’s Blairmore Holdings Inc company, set up in the 1980s, managed tens of millions of pounds for the wealthy but has not ever paid tax on UK profits.
Despite there being no suggestion that the avoidance arrangement or others exposed by the leak were anything but entirely legal, Cameron responded to the news saying:
That is a private matter, I am focused on what the government is doing”
But that defence didn’t wash well with Snowden, who was less than impressed at Cameron’s answer after the prime minister had repeatedly criticised him for leaking classified information.
In a post on Twitter on Monday, Snowden wrote simply in response to a Reuters story on Cameron’s response: “Oh, now he’s interested in privacy.”
Oh, now he's interested in privacy. https://t.co/jfCSYgensb
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 4, 2016
The post has garnered nearly 18,000 re-tweets, while his sentiment has been echoed by others, including Carol Vordeman.
The former ‘Countdown star’ labelled Cameron a “hypocrite” and insisted the issue was “not a private matter”.
Oh no David Cameron… it is NOT a private matter.It is a matter of utter hypocrisy. https://t.co/RGWgyfs6x5
— Carol Vorderman MBE (@carolvorders) April 5, 2016
Other pundits, including former English rugby hooker Brian Moore, the Guardian’s Tom Clark and Kevin Maguire of the Mirror, were equally unimpressed.
Had Cameron not made such a public condemnation of others he might have had justification to say it was private. https://t.co/8LKv1Ul05s
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) April 5, 2016
The No 10 line that whether or not any Cameron family money still invested in Blairmore is "a private matter" surely can't hold.
— Tom Clark (@guardian_clark) April 4, 2016
Labour feeble not to demand Cameron answers on his dad's Panama link. No "private matter" when PM supposed to crack down on tax evasion!
— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) April 4, 2016
In 2012, Cameron called out comedian Jimmy Carr for conducting “morally wrong” tax arrangements.
Reports of Carr’s financial arrangements suggested “straightforward tax avoidance”, the PM said at the time, adding that it was unfair on the people paying to watch him perform that he did not pay taxes in the same way they did
Source : huffingtonpost