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14th Oct 2021

Boris Johnson’s holiday villa ‘linked to offshore tax havens’, according to reports

Charlie Herbert

Boris Johnson’s holiday villa 'linked to offshore tax havens', according to reports

It was lent to the Prime Minister by Zac Goldsmith

Boris Johnson’s holiday villa in Marbella potentially has links to offshore tax havens, according to reports.

Documents seen by the Guardian reportedly suggest that the luxurious villa, which has been lent to him by environment minister Zac Goldsmith, has been held by an opaque offshore structure based in multiple tax havens.

The papers apparently indicate that Goldsmith and his family may have owned the Marbella property through a Maltese organisation held by companies based in the Turks and Caicos Islands and administered by a wealth planning firm based in Switzerland.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Goldsmith – with a spokesperson for the minister saying that he has “followed the ministerial interests process set out in the ministerial code.”

However the revelations that the Prime Minister is holidaying in a villa that appears to be held through a series of secretive companies raises many questions at a time when he has said he is committed to reforms designed to introduce transparency to offshore property ownership in the UK.

There are also now questions over whether Goldsmith holds valuable, income-generating assets offshore.

It comes just days after the Pandora Papers revealed the use of offshore jurisdictions by a number of senior Conservative party figures and donors.

Speaking after the revelations in the papers, chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the use of offshore companies to avoid tax and hide wealth from authorities is a “global problem.”

The Prime Minister has been under fire for the timing of his holiday to Marbella, coming as the country faces an energy and supply chain crisis and just three weeks before he hosts the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Earlier this week, Downing Street defended Johnson’s timing of his holiday but refused to confirm who was funding his stay at Goldsmith’s Marbella estate – and whether there was a potential conflict of interest in Johnson accepting a holiday from someone he ennobled and made a minister.

A spokesperson for Zac Goldsmith said: “His interests have been reviewed by the Cabinet Office and the prime minister’s independent adviser on ministerial interests. Other relevant interests have correctly been reported in line with the House of Lords’ code of conduct.”

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