Tax Avoidance (HSBC)

Part of Isil – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:35 pm, 23rd February 2015

I said in my statement that the proper procedures had been followed for the appointment of a Minister, and that the Cabinet Secretary and the director general for ethics in the Cabinet Office had been involved. I am not privy to the tax affairs of any individual citizen, and it would be a gross abuse of our constitution if I were. Our procedures allow HMRC to talk to the House of Lords Appointments Commission, and it did so on this occasion, so those procedures were followed. Any Labour Members who ask questions about our appointment of Stephen Green to the post of Trade Minister could be asked questions about their decision to appoint him as chair of the Prime Minister’s business council, and to retain him in that post after the revelations that appeared in the Financial Times in 2009.