#ResignCameron: Thousands Call for British Prime Minister to Step Down

“I know I should have handled this better,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said about the revelation connecting him to the Panama Papers scandal. (Latvia State Chancellery / CC-BY-SA)

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Thousands of protesters converged in London on Saturday calling for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation in the wake of the Panama Papers release.

As Cameron spoke to a group of Conservative ministers at a hotel in Covent Garden, where he admitted fault in his response this week to revelations that he had profited from offshore tax havens, up to 5,000 Londoners surrounded the hotel where the meeting was being held, chanting for him to step down.

Many arrived wearing “offshore-themed” outfits like tropical shirts and Panama hats. Continuing protests are planned until Cameron steps down or closes tax loopholes, organizers said.

One demonstrator told the Independent, “If [Cameron] resigned as a consequence of these protests, there would be huge momentum.”

The action comes just days after similar protests in Iceland prompted that country’s prime minister to take a “leave of absence” from office.

Meanwhile, inside the hotel, Cameron reportedly told an audience of supporters that he would release details of his tax return “later on” and said that it had “not been a great week,” prompting laughter from the Tory ministers.

“I know I should have handled this better,” he said. “And don’t blame No. 10 Downing Street or nameless advisers, blame me.”

After days of equivocating, Cameron admitted this week that he had had a stake in his late father’s offshore trust, which avoided paying UK taxes for 30 years. In response to the revelations, numerous British politicians called for his resignation, including progressive icon and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“After years of calling for tax transparency and attacking complex offshore tax arrangements as ‘morally wrong’, the prime minister has been shown to have personally benefited from exactly such a secretive offshore investment,” Corbyn said Friday, before promising to release his own returns.

“It is now clear that the prime minister has misled the public about his personal involvement in offshore tax avoidance schemes,” Corbyn said. “It took five weasel-worded statements in five days for the prime minister to admit that he has personally profited from an undeclared Caribbean tax haven investment deal.”

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