MP denies claim she deliberately reduced tax bill

Andrea Leadsom MP
Andrea Leadsom MP

Northamptonshire South MP Andrea Leadsom has rebuked claims in national newspapers that she used trusts to reduce her tax bill as ‘totally untrue’.

The newly installed treasury minister made the response after a story emerged in the Independent and other media last week alleging she chose to place the shares of a property company she owned with her husband – Bandal ltd – into trusts for the benefit of her three children to avoid inheritance tax in 2004.

The paper also accused the MP of obtaining loans for two of its buy-to-let properties with a Jersey branch of an investment bank in a further tax avoidance scheme in 2006. The reports did not accuse Ms Leadsom of doing anything illegal but made the link to Chancellor George Osborne stating an important part of his economic plan was clamping down on those using offshore banks.

But Ms Leadsom adamantly denied the allegations made in the reports. She said: “Bandal Ltd is a totally UK company that is illegible for tax on all its profit.

“There is no offshore element of Bandal Ltd and there are no tax avoidance schemes.”

Ms Leadsom stepped down as director of Bandal in February.

The former banker, who was elected as an MP in 2010, added: “I have paid tax on absolutely everything I have earned with the only exception being the year I worked for Barclays in Sydney, Australia.”