June 22, 2012 12:25

David Cameron refuses to condemn Take That's Gary Barlow's 'tax shelter'

Prime Minister criticised Jimmy Carr earlier this week, but has opted not to do the same to Barlow

David Cameron refuses to condemn Take That's Gary Barlow's 'tax shelter'

Photo: PA

British Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to criticise Take That mainman Gary Barlow, despite the singer being named as those involved in "tax shelters".

Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, along with their manager Jonathan Wild, are reportedly among 1,000 wealthy figures who have invested around £480 million in a scheme, described as a "tax shelter", with the Take That men allegedly investing a cool £26 million.

Earlier this week Cameron condemned comedian Jimmy Carr, who has been named a celebrity tax avoider, saying that the comedian was "completely wrong" and "very dodgy".

He said of Carr's actions: "I think some of these schemes - and I think particularly of the Jimmy Carr scheme - I have had time to read about and I just think this is completely wrong. People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes."

Then asked today if Cameron felt the same way about Barlow's alleged tax avoidance, he refused to comment, saying during a press conference today (June 22): "I am not going to give a running commentary on different people's tax affairs. I don't think that would be right. I made an exception because it was a very specific case where the details seemed to have been published and it was a particularly egregious example of an avoidance scheme that seemed to me to be wrong and I made that point."

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Angela Eagle hit out at the Prime Minister's refusal to condemn Barlow, saying: "Oddly, [Mr Cameron] did not take the opportunity to condemn as morally repugnant the tax avoidance scheme used by Conservative supporter Gary Barlow, who has given a whole new meaning to the phrase Take That."

She continued: "If he is also morally repugnant, why has he been given an OBE in the Birthday Honours? Why is the Prime Minister's view of what's dodgy in the tax system so partial?"

Jimmy Carr has since apologised for his behaviour, saying he had made "an error of judgement". Barlow and his bandmates have yet to issue any kind of comment.

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