The Labor prime minister, the chancellor and the deputy prime minister would issue tax returns, says Starmer

Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer on Saturday at a party conference in London (Aaron Chown / PA) (PA Wire)

Sir Keir Starmer said that under a Labor government, the prime minister, chancellor and deputy prime minister would all publish their tax returns.

The Labor leader has promised to add more transparency in the publication of the internal register of ministerial interests, with the party considering using an opposition day debate this week to give Tory MPs a vote on the issue.

It comes as Issue 10 grapples with controversy surrounding Tory President Nadhim Zahawi, as well as questions about former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the appointment of Richard Sharp as BBC chairman.

Downing Street said Sunak would release its tax return “in due course”.

Sir Keir told the Sunday times: “I think it’s quite simple: those involved in taxation can’t even try to avoid it.

“I’m baffled why the prime minister couldn’t just say that this week. I see no reason why the Prime Minister shouldn’t issue their tax return as a matter of course. It already happens elsewhere.

“And if we are serious about restoring confidence, I think whoever is appointed chancellor or deputy prime minister should do the same,” said Sir Keir.

He added: “Trust in politics is important. That’s why I said from the beginning that if I was fined for Durham, I would resign. This is why we are committed to cleaning up Westminster. The public needs to know that the swamp has been drained.”

Earlier, the Labor leader used a speech at the London Labor conference to tell members not to get complacent about the battle to win the next general election.

Sir Keir’s party is largely inclined to do so after the series of scandals and controversies that have plagued successive Tory administrations.

“The Conservatives will never give up power,” Sir Keir told members. “That’s not who I am. So don’t give up. No complacency. Fight for every vote.”

Meanwhile, Sunak was reported to have received informal advice in October that there may be a reputational risk to the government due to Zahawi’s tax issues.

Government officials are said to have given the new prime minister informal advice when he drafted his cabinet in October, about the risks of an HMRC investigation – first revealed by The Independent – which has been settled while he was chancellor.

Second The observerin October Sunak was informally informed that the tax issue involved a significant amount of money.

But Downing Street has strongly denied the claim that Sunak had been warned of the risk. A spokesman for No 10 said: “These claims are not true. The prime minister has not been informed of these details, informally or otherwise.”

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