So, Mr Cameron, are Tory boys Philip Green and Gary Barlow “morally wrong” as well?

David Cameron is facing charges of hypocrisy over his failure to condemn celeb Tory Gary Barlow's tax avoidance, having last night attacked non-Tory Jimmy Carr.

E-mail-sign-up Donate



David Cameron is feeling the the tax dodging heat today, facing charges of hypocrisy over his failure to condemn celeb Tory Gary Barlow’s tax avoidance, having last night laid into non-Tory Jimmy Carr’s tax arrangements.

Asked by ITN’s Tom Bradby if he thought Barlow’s “tax affairs were morally wrong and should he give back his OBE”, the prime minister passed up the chance to censure his Tory chum, dodging the tax dodging question by saying he would not give a “running commentary on different people’s tax affairs” as “that would not be right”. By which he means ‘I’ll give a commentary on lefty Jimmy Carr, but not my mate Gary Barlow’.

The Tory leader’s lack of consisteny was mocked on Twitter – with people also pointing to Tory tax-dodger-in-chief Sir Philip Green:

Jimmy Carr,Lord Ashcroft,Vodafone,Goldman Sachs,Gary Barlow, I wonder which one doesn’t back tories?” – Jim Macred

“Trying to dismantle the career of Jimmy Carr while not mentioning Gary Barlow speaks volumes about the schoolboy running our country.” – Coffee Punk

“PM now refusing equal criticism of Gary Barlow over tax avoidance after railing against Jimmy Carr. Is it because Barlow is a Tory?” – Sunny Hundal

“Utterly spineless from Cameron. Jimmy Carr is “morally wrong”, but on Tory donor Gary Barlow? No comment. Pathetic.” – Marcus Dysch

“So Cameron has a lot to say about Jimmy Carr but nothing about his mate and Tory boy Gary Barlow. Disgraceful hypocrisy.” – Gavin Callaghan

“pm not willing to do a jimmy carr on gary barlow. think he may regret having done a jimmy carr on jimmy carr actually…” – Joey Jones

“In the Commons Labour question why the PM picked out Jimmy Carr & not “Conservative supporter” Gary Barlow: Watch live” – BBC Politics

“Angela Eagle asking about tax avoidance. Why is Jimmy Carr immoral but Gary Barlow gets an OBE and Philip Green gets a knighthood and a job?” – MD

“You are morally wrong @jimmycarr but Philip Green, Gary Barlow, Lord Ashcroft morally right – they’re Tories. #toffshore” – Dave Cameroon

“Dave quick to kick Jimmy Carr (allegedly a leftie, allegedly a comic) over tax but not Gary Barlow (certainly a Tory, allegedly a singer)” – Kevin Mitchell

“Tory, Gary Barlow, still off the radar for avoiding far, far more tax than Jimmy Carr in an identical scheme. Funny that.” – Paul Lewis

“It’s amazing how Jimmy Carr get his balls chewed off by Prime Minister while Princess Gary Barlow doesn’t even get a mention.” – Coffee Punk

“It appears Cameron has got himself into a right pickle!Hes thought oh lets ‘go for’ lefty Jimmy Carr but then ooops Tory Gary Barlow pops up” – Ian

“Cameron says Jimmy Carr’s tax affairs are “morally wrong” – but he hasn’t had time to look into allegations against Gary Barlow (OBE)” – Polly Curtis

“If Cameron is singling out Jimmy Carr, will he throw same accusation at Gary Barlow? No? Funny that. Could it be that Barlow is a Tory?” – Chris Nicholson

Of course it’s not just Barlow and Green, there’s Ashcroft, Osborne, Mitchell, Hammond…


French leaders attack Cameron’s “red carpet” invite to tax exiles as Carr gets owned 19 Jun 2012

Osborne, Barclays, the Cayman Islands and tax avoidance 17 Apr 2012

Budget 2012: Does Osborne think Caan, Ashcroft and Green are “morally repugnant”? 22 Mar 2012

$3.1 trillion lost to tax evasion globally; cost to Britain: £69.9 billion 25 Nov 2011

Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens 11 Oct 2011

Osborne, Mitchell and Hammond accused of tax avoidance 18 Oct 2010

A crackdown on tax dodgers will help the poor and make huge cuts unnecessary 20 Oct 2010

Another week, another Tory tax exile – only this time the Daily Mail sinks him 20 Aug 2010

More pressure on Clegg as we reveal real cost of Green’s £285m tax avoidance 19 Aug 2010

Sign the petition to demand Cameron’s pal Aschroft pays back the £127 million he avoided 2 Mar 2010

Facebook group on Lord Ashcroft’s tax status piles on the pressure 16 Feb 2010

Cameron’s MEPs vote against reforms to clamp down on tax dodgers 11 Feb 2010

Cameron cannot brush aside the Ashcroft tax-status scandal 15 Dec 2009


… Not forgetting Cameron’s “red carpet” invite to greedy French tax dodgers seeking to hop across the Channel to avoid paying their fair share of tax under new French President François Hollande.

Cameron’s Tory party looks like its riddled with tax dodgers, avoiders, evaders – cheats, the real “scroungers” in society, and he seems attracted to them, surrounding himself with these shady characters, “all in it together” with the selfish few, saying not a word against them.

Jimmy Carr has at least, at last, belatedly shown contrition – yet the same cannot be said of any of the Tory tax chisellers. Will Cameron ever condemn them? Don’t hold your breath.


Sign-up to our weekly email • Donate to Left Foot Forward

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.