Chris Moyles tried to hide tax avoidance from public

Radio 1 DJ tried to gag reports on links to tax avoidance scheme

Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has had an attempt to keep his involvement in a tax-avoidance scheme out of the public eye rejected by a high court judge.

Though there is no suggestion that Moyles acted illegally, The Times reports that the former Breakfast Show host was paying a nominal amount of tax and had attempted to gag the press from reporting this fact. It is not clear if he sought to avoid tax on BBC earnings, something which would be breach of his reported £500,000 annual contract with the public-funded corporation.

Moyles’ bid to silence the press was described by his lawyer as being motivated by the fact his career might be damaged through the subsequent bad publicity, and that his earning capacity would be reduced. Judge Colin Bishop summed up the case by stating that: “If it were to become public knowledge that he availed himself of a tax avoidance scheme, his career might be damaged and his earning capacity reduced. He is already the focus of media interest for other reasons, much of it hostile.”

However, he continued to reject Moyles’ bid for privacy, saying: “The fact that a taxpayer is rich, or that he is in the public eye, does not seem to me to dictate a different approach. On the contrary, it may be that hearing the appeal of such a person in private would give rise to the suspicion that riches or fame can buy anonymity, and protection from the scrutiny which others cannot avoid.”

Moyles last hit the headlines after hitting out at a reviewer who criticised his new musical parody album in a national newspaper.