Opposition accuses `dodgy` British PM over HSBC scandal
British opposition leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday accused Prime Minister David Cameron of being "dodgy" after media reports named seven Conservative Party donors who held HSBC accounts in Switzerland.
London: British opposition leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday accused Prime Minister David Cameron of being "dodgy" after media reports named seven Conservative Party donors who held HSBC accounts in Switzerland.
Miliband chastised Cameron for appointing the London-based bank`s former chief executive and chairman Stephen Green as a trade minister in a fierce exchange over the HSBC leaked files scandal during a debate session in parliament.
"Does the prime minister expect us to believe that in the three years Stephen Green was a minister, he never had a conversation with him about what was going on at HSBC?" Miliband said.
"Can the prime minister explain the revolving door between Tory party HQ and the Swiss branch of HSBC?" Miliband asked, accusing him of being "a dodgy prime minister surrounded by dodgy donors".
The cache of files made public in the so-called SwissLeaks case includes the names of celebrities, alleged arms dealers and politicians -- though inclusion on the list does not necessarily imply wrongdoing.
Published at the weekend, the files claim HSBC`s Swiss division helped clients in more than 200 countries evade taxes on accounts containing $119 billion (104 billion euros).
A report in the Guardian newspaper named seven Conservative donors as being account holders and said they had given the party a total of more than £5.0 million (6.8 million euros, $7.6 million).
Cameron stressed that the Labour party was in power at the time the HSBC scandal first surfaced in 2007 and said they too had worked closely with Green.
"No government has been tougher than this one in chasing down tax evasion and tax avoidance," he said.
Several countries though not Britain have launched investigations into HSBC in recent years following the revelations.
Tax officials say there has only been one prosecution resulting from the thousands of UK account holders listed.