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David Cameron under pressure over Panama leak

The leak of 11 million financial documents from a Panama law firm has sent shockwaves across the globe, reaching the highest levels of government in a number of countries and toppling one prime minister.

The reverberations from this unprecedented disclosure of confidential data look set to continue for some time as information continues to emerge from this vast quantity of material.

Iceland's prime minister became the first casualty of the data leak when Sigmunder David Gunnlaugsson stepped down as head of his country's coalition government.

He initially tried to brazen out the controversy but his position became untenable after thousands of people gathered to protest at the reported offshore financial dealings of himself and his wife.

There was also embarrassment for David Cameron after it was revealed his late father ran an offshore fund that avoided paying tax in Britain, helping him to accumulate substantial wealth.

Downing Street at first tried to close the story down, insisting the business affairs of Ian Cameron were a private matter. However, that line proved impossible to sustain given the legitimate questions that arose about this matter.

Mr Cameron cannot be held to account for the actions of his father but he does have to demonstrate transparency in relation to his own and his immediate family's finances.

His office was forced to issue a statement saying the prime minister, his wife and children do not benefit from any offshore funds but this is unlikely to be the end of the matter.

What this story of tax havens and hidden wealth does is emphasise Mr Cameron's life of privilege which is very far removed from the experience of the vast majority of ordinary voters trying to get by on an average wage.

In his favour, the prime minister has taken steps to clamp down on tax evasion while legislation on disclosing information by British companies is due to come into effect in June.

However, he may need to go further on the disclosure of his own financial circumstances.

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