After attacking British business for tax avoidance schemes, Ed Miliband has now been accused of it himself. He is trying to wriggle out of the accusations, but quite rightly, MPs are demanding “Show us the proof you haven’t tried to avoid tax for years.”During the second Mayoral election, Ken Livingstone challenged Boris on air to publish his accounts, obviously believing Boris would refuse. I have never forgotten the sweet smile Boris gave Ken. “Of course” he said and Jenny Jones squeaked “OOOO” in astonishment.
In two days Boris had produced an impeccable set of accounts from a respected auditor that were squeaky clean. By the end of the election, Ken still hadn’t come up with proper accounts, except a few home typed pages of what looked like dodgy dealings and evidence of tax avoidance. His reputation had been based on bashing bankers for tax avoidance. The revelation that he had been doing the same himself certainly didn’t help his election chances.
Ken tried to pretend Boris has avoided tax in same way he did. Boris was so furious, he nearly punched Ken on the nose in the lift. He had to be dragged off Ken by Brian Paddick, so incensed was he at his lies. His accountant issued an unequivocal statement that he has never ever used tax avoidance, and always paid top rate of tax.
Nick Clegg fiddled his expenses as an MEP but during the leadership debates blithely accused Gordon Brown and David Cameron, both speechless at his nerve, of corruption. His reputation has never recovered.
Boris uses his bike whenever possible. Ed Miliband preaches how he cares for the poor, but spends £63,000 in one month on chauffeured linos that we pay for. He might just about survive this scandal, but if he doesn’t clear up the tax avoidance accusations, his reputation as the caring white knight and defender of the disadvantaged could be about to blow up in his face.
The Daily Telegraph reports: “The Labour candidate and former DPP Keir Starmer has admitted that Ed Miliband’s financial arrangements were “intended to reduce tax, raising questions about the Labour’s leader decision to attack tax “avoiders”.”
You should have copied Boris, Ed, too late now. Either come up with some solid evidence pronto, or suffer Ken’s fate. If you crash and burn, let’s hope those thousands you allegedly saved were worth it.
Nick Cohen said It’s time to call Ken Livingstone to account.