TONY Blair is amongst a host of high-profile global figures who have been dragged into a row over offshore taxation after the leak of thousands of pages of confidential financial documents.
Dubbed the Pandora Papers, the leak is set to raise difficult questions for figures as prominent as Vladimir Putin and the King of Jordan.
Blair and his wife Cherie are also implicated as a result of their 2017 purchase of a Mayfair townhouse, which served as an office.
Rather than buying the property, the Blairs instead bought a British Virgin Islands company which owned the property.
Had the property been purchased as normal, the Blairs would have been subject to a stamp duty bill north of £300,000.
A spokesperson for Tony and Cherie Blair said late last night that they “should not have been dragged into a story about ‘hidden’ secrets.”
“For the record, the Blairs pay full tax on all their earnings. And have never used offshore schemes either to hide transactions or avoid tax.”
The spokesperson said the Blairs had “nothing whatever to do” with the vendor nor made the decision to buy the company rather than the property.
The Crown Estate is also believed to be investigating how it came to purchase a £66.5m Mayfair office building in 2018 from a British Virgin Islands company with links to Azerbaijan’s ruling family, who have been regularly accused of corruption.
A separate transaction revealed by the papers is a £33.5m purchase of one UK property by a firm which was beneficially owned by Azeri President Aliyev’s son – who was eleven years old at the time.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle are implicated in the purchase of assets in Monaco and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis – who is facing a national election later this week – failed to declare an offshore investment company that he used to buy two villas.
There is no suggestion of illegality in any of the transactions.