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Barking MP Margaret Hodge talks tough on tax evasion

PUBLISHED: 17:12 07 November 2017

Margaret Hodge MP speaking at the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2015.

Margaret Hodge MP speaking at the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2015.

Archant

Barking MP Margaret Hodge, once dubbed a “tax rockstar” by a leading economist, has criticised efforts to stamp out tax evasion in light of the ‘Paradise Papers.’

Following the publication of the leaked documents on Sunday night she has chaired meetings, tabled questions in parliament and done several media appearances across all the major TV stations.

She has called for “openness and transparency about who owns what” and highlighted the reluctance of the Conservatives to put together of public register of business ownership.

Dame Hodge served for five years as chair of the public accounts committee, which oversees government finances, and earned a reputation for being blunt with tax evaders.

“You do evil,” was her message to a Google chief once appearing in front of the committee.

This week, she has called on the government to bring in public registers of companies and trusts.

“We’ve had enough of the platitudes from the Government. No more excuses. It’s time for action,” she tweeted.

She has also sought to improve politicians’ understanding of the leaked information by inviting journalists who worked on the project to address MPs.

In a BBC interview, she also criticised those who look after the Queen’s finances, following revelations that the Duchy of Lancaster, her private estate, invested heavily offshore.

“The monarchy is on of the most trusted, respected, loved institutions in Britain and it symbolises the integrity of Britain in the world.

“To see its reputation sullied by these sorts of activities is outrageous. I’m pretty furious with those who advise her.

“It is so obvious if you are looking after the money of the monarchy you have got to be cleaner than clean and never go near the dirty world of money laundering and tax evasion,” she said.

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