Britain’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has called on the Queen to open up her full financial records in the wake of revelations that millions of pounds of her private money is invested in overseas tax havens.
A huge leak of over 13 million financial documents— referred to as the Paradise Papers— revealed over the weekend that the Duchy of Lancaster, which manages investments for the Queen’s £520m private estate, invested around £10m in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda-based funds to evade taxes.
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, McDonnell said the revelation “demonstrates there’s a culture that has been developed even amongst advisers to the Queen that this is acceptable.”’
“The whole culture needs to change and that’s what we’re challenging,” he said.
Asked whether the Queen’s full financial records should be made public, McDonnell said that “we should have complete openness and transparency for everybody that level in society – yeah.”
He said Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond should do the same as well.
McDonnell also demanded an apology from Conservative minister, Patrick McLoughlin, who is ultimately responsible for overseeing the Queen’s finances.
In a reaction to the leak, Buckingham Palace said that the Queen’s investments are fully “audited and legitimate.” It also said the Queen “voluntarily pays tax on any income she receives from the Duchy.
Polling company Opinium Research, however, has found that the Queen’s approval ratings have fallen from 72 percent in April to 66 percent this week.
Support for the monarchy has also dropped from 64 percent six months ago to 58 percent after a week of controversy over the royal investments, the poll shows.