Edward Snowden is taking aim at British Prime Minister David Cameron, the latest national leader to face scrutiny as a result of the Panama Papers. Cameron acknowledged on Thursday that he had earned just over $42,000 from an offshore investment.
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"Loudest evangelizers of 'meritocracy' and 'personal responsibility' so often benefited from huge, unearned advantages," said a Thursday retweet on Snowden's feed that was originally authored by journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Monday that the Panama Papers revealed the prime minister's late father, Ian Cameron, evaded British taxes "by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents" to sign his paperwork on an offshore fund established by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
I wonder if something got in the way. #PanamaPapers https://t.co/hDIs6g81bw— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 7, 2016
Asked whether the family still had money invested in offshore locations, Cameron's spokesman initially responded that Cameron had "taken a range of action to tackle evasion and aggressive tax avoidance" but that the family's finances are "a private matter."
On Thursday, Cameron admitted that the $42,000 he received from selling a stake in the fund came four months before he assumed office on Downing Street. However, he insisted, all of the proper paperwork had been filed and British taxes had been paid.
Resignation of Iceland's PM may explain why the UK PM is so insistent public has no right to know a PM's "private" finances. #PanamaPapers— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 5, 2016
Nonetheless, Snowden noted, Cameron has still not published his tax returns, which he had promised to do in April 2012. "I wonder if something got in the way. #PanamaPapers," Snowden said.
"Resignation of Iceland's PM may explain why the UK PM is so insistent public has no right to know a PM's 'private' finances," he added in another message. Icelandic PM David Gunnlaugsson was forced to resign earlier in the week as a result of the scandal.
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The 2013 leak from Snowden that revealed the scope of National Security Agency surveillance in the United States also included a trove of information on similar programs run by the agency's British counterpart, GCHQ. The Panama Papers, which include information on more than 250,000 offshore accounts set up by public figures around the world, are being widely described as the most significant leak since that time.