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Panama Papers: Bookies slash odds on David Cameron resignation following TV admissions

Conservative leader David Cameron greeting his father during the 2010 election campaign. Picture by Johnny Green

British prime minister David Cameron is under mounting pressure after finally admitting he benefited from a Panama-based offshore company set up by his late father.

Downing Street spent three days issuing statements that were criticised for being incomplete before Mr Cameron eventually acknowledged in a TV interview last night that he owned shares in a tax haven fund, which he sold for £31,500 just before he became prime minister in 2010.

After the prime minister's admission to ITV News of a direct link to the UK-tax-avoiding fund, bookmakers PaddyPower shortened the odds on him resigning from 20/1 to 11/2.

Iceland prime minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson stepped down in the wake of the leaked Panama Papers from law firm Mossack Fonseca after it emerged he owned an offshore firm with his wife that was not declared when he became an MP.

Mr Gunnlaugsson says he sold his shares to his wife and denies any wrongdoing, but is accused of concealing millions of dollars' worth of family assets.

Opponents have pounced on the admissions from the British PM, with Labour calling for full disclosure on what other financial arrangements the Conservative leader benefited from as an MP and when he was leader of the opposition.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Why didn’t he register his interest in this offshore back in 2005 when he first became an MP?

"He says he's going to publish his tax return. I think he will need to go further and be clear about what his investments have been in the past," he said.

Mr Smith said it had left the premier with a credibility problem.

"On the one hand he’s been exulting everyone to not avoid tax ... and on the other hand he has benefit from a investment vehicle that is essentially a tax avoidance vehicle,” he said.

"People will now have doubts about the trustworthiness of our prime minister given that he has been so revealed as having double standards.

"Is it effectively one rule for the rich, and the rich who run the Tory party, and another rule for the rest of us? These are people who came to power arguing `We are all in it together'. And clearly that is not true and this episode reveals that in stark detail."

Meanwhile, his colleague, Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, called on Mr Cameron to pay back money that "morally belong to the exchequer".

Tory Skills minister Nick Boles insisted the prime minister's initial response was "a natural human reaction to not want to intrude further on his father’s memory".

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