Five out of seven Northamptonshire MPs yet to be drawn on tax return debate

Five out of Northamptonshire's seven MPs are yet to say whether they would be willing to publish their tax returns as pressure grows nationally in the wake of the Panama Paper leaks.

Five out of Northamptonshire's seven MPs are yet to say whether they would be willing to publish their tax returns as pressure grows nationally in the wake of the Panama Paper leaks.

Northampton’s Labour group has backed calls to see all MPs publish their tax returns - though most of the county’s MPs are yet to say whether they would be willing to do so.

Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn all published their tax returns this week amid mounting pressure from the public, following the Panama papers leak.

Mr Corbyn even went a step further by saying all people “involved in public life” including journalists should have to reveal their income tax returns.

Now his call has the backing of members at a local level.

Leader of the Labour Group in Northampton, Councillor Danielle Stone said: “It is simply not good enough for our local MPs not to publish their tax returns. We must have transparency.

“Jeremy Corbyn has rightly challenged all MPs to publish their tax returns and now as a result David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson have done so.

“All Northants MPs must publish their tax returns as well.

“There is a saying that sunshine is the best disinfectant and it certainly applies in this case. Have our MPs got something to hide?”

The Chronicle & Echo, together with The Northamptonshire Telegraph and the Daventry Express has asked the seven Northamptonshire MPs whether they support the principle of having to publish their tax returns.

They were also asked whether they would personally be willing to publish their own tax returns, which would detail tax paid on earnings above and beyond their standard parliamentary wage.

So far only Kettering MP Philip Hollobone and Northampton South MP David Mackintosh have responded.

Mr Mackintosh appeared not to answerer the question on whether he supported the idea of publishing tax returns.

He said: “All of my income has been declared in accordance with the existing rules for MPs and is published on the Parliament website.

“I do not own any shares or have money in off-shore accounts.”

Mr Hollobone however, said he would be willing to do so if required.

“I haven’t been asked by anyone to publish my tax return. If the law changes to require MPs to publish their tax returns then I would of course do so.”

Responses are still awaited for Northampton North MP Michael Ellis, Northamptonshire South MP Andrea Leadsom, Corby MP Tom Pursglove, Wellingborough MP Peter Bone and Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris.