North East MP happy to publish tax returns amid Panama Papers row

Grahame Morris
Grahame Morris
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A North East MP says he is happy to publish his tax return if it will help to restore public trust in politicians.

Easington MP Grahame Morris was speaking after Jeremy Corbyn said there should be ‘the greatest sense of openness’ over money and influence after the row over the revelations about off-shore accounts in Panama.

Appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show at the weekend, the Labour leader said people in the public eye should be expected to reveal details of their financial affairs.

Mr Corbyn yesterday followed Prime Minister David Carmeron in publishing his tax returns.

Easington MP Grahame Morris told the Mail he was happy to go along with plans to make MPs share their financial details.

“The only source of income I have is my MP’s salary. Any other little bits and pieces I get I give to charity,” he said.

“I don’t have any property other than the house I live in in Dawdon, I don’t have any other source of income and I don’t have any off-shore trusts.

“I would not have any problem with publishing my tax return if it would help to restore public confidence.”

Jeremy Corbyn told Andrew Marr journalists could also be expected to publish their accounts.

Asked if the UK was now moving to a position where anyone in public life should reveal their tax affairs, Mr Corbyn said: “I think we are moving in that direction. I think it is probably a good thing if we move generally in that direction so that everybody knows what influences are at play.

“Money and politics have to be treated with the greatest sense of openness possible so you know what influences are at work on any individual, on whatever political or any other decisions they make.”

Asked whether that would involve people whose work involved them in politics as well as those actually in office, Mr Corbyn said: “I think we need to consider how far it goes, how far it goes to other people involved in public life.

“You are involved in public life, for example, as a very important commentator on the BBC, as indeed many others are. I think we need to know what influence is at work on them.”

The revelations about tax havens had shown the country was divided: “What Panama has shown, more than anything, is there is one rule for the rich and one rule for the rest.”