PM has been fending off questions about his finances in the wake of Panama Papers, but where does his money come from?
Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha pose for a photograph during their holiday in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote.
David Cameron’s family connections
Ewen Donald Cameron – David Cameron’s grandfather
Known as Donald, David Cameron’s grandfather was a City figure who became a director at the stockbroking house Panmure Gordon. He died in 1958, leaving an inheritance of £57,000 – worth about £1m today.
Ian Cameron – David Cameron’s father
He is reported to have received £2m after Panmure Gordon was sold to a US bank during the period of deregulation in the early 1980s. He subsequently established Blairmore Holdings Inc in 1982, the fund now at the centre of the Panama Papers controversy, and where he was paid $20,000 a year as a director.
Cameron Sr and his wife, David Cameron’s mother, Mary, were reported to have made £800,000 from the sale of two paintings by Jean-Baptiste Greuze in 2006. In 2009, his personal fortune was estimated at £10m by the Sunday Times Rich List.
His publicly available will declared an inheritance of £2.74m; any offshore investments would only have been declared privately to HMRC. Last year, Channel 4 News reported that some of his assets had been left in the tax haven of Jersey.
David Cameron’s personal finances have come under close scrutiny in recent days. The prime minister has mainly worked in politics, first as a special adviser. He also spent time working in PR at Carlton Communications before becoming an MP in 2001.
The Camerons’ first property, a one-bed flat in Notting Hill, was purchased in 1992 for £130,000. Two years later, Cameron traded up to a £215,000 nearby house, reportedly with help from his father and an inheritance from his great aunt. In 2001, the couple took out a £350,000 mortgage on their house in Dean, Oxfordshire, with the interest covered by the taxpayer. The family continues to own the house, estimated to be worth more than £1m.
Cameron’s current register of interests also includes the family’s Edwardian terrace house in North Kensington. Now rented out, the property was reported earlier this year to be worth more than £3.5m.
The prime minister declared a shareholding in Carlton Communications, where he had been head of corporate affairs, on his register of interests in 2002. He is also reported to have owned shares worth £40,000 in Urbium, the owner of London’s Tiger Tiger nightclub, where he earned as much as £28,000 a year as a non-executive director between 2002 and 2005. He inherited £300,000 from his father’s will in 2010, just under the £325,000 threshold at which inheritance tax would have been imposed.
Alexander Cameron QC – David Cameron’s brother
A barrister, David Cameron’s older brother swapped ownership with his father to become the sole owner of the family’s £2.3m home in Berkshire in 2006.
Tania Cameron – David Cameron’s sister
Inherited £1m Cameron family home in Kensington, split equally with her sister, Clare.
Clare Cameron – David Cameron’s sister
Inherited £1m Cameron family home in Kensington, split equally with Tania.
Samantha Cameron – David Cameron’s wife
Samantha Cameron has worked at the luxury stationery group Smythson since the 1990s, gaining shares in the company as part of her role as creative director. Smythson was acquired in April 2005 by a consortium of City grandees, including members of the Fleming banking family. Samantha Cameron received a £400,000 windfall from the sale. After being sold again in 2009, Smythson is now owned through a holding company in Luxembourg. Mrs Cameron also holds shares in a property company set up by her father, Sir Reginald Sheffield.
Samantha Cameron’s family connections
Annabel Astor – Samantha Cameron’s mother
Viscountess Astor has two daughters from her first marriage to Sir Reginald Sheffield, including Samantha Cameron. She then married Viscount Astor and they had three children – William, Flora and James. Known as an effective businesswoman, she set up the furniture company Oka, where she serves as chief executive. More than half of Oka’s 86 shareholders are channelled through a company operating out of Guernsey. Oka was reported to be worth an estimated £30m in 2006.
William Waldorf Astor III – Samantha Cameron’s stepfather
Viscount Astor, who sits as a hereditary peer in the House of Lords, is a director in several companies, including Ancroft Tractors Ltd and Cliveden Securities Ltd. Astor also has a home on the 19,500-acre Tarbert estate on the island of Jura, off the west coast of Scotland, which is owned by a company registered in the Bahamas. The Tarbert estate is owned by Ginge Manor House, an offshore company named after the Astors’ home in Oxfordshire. David Cameron has been a frequent visitor to the Jura estate, praising its peace and quiet.
William Waldorf Astor IV – Samantha Cameron’s half brother
William Waldorf Astor IV is chief executive of Long Harbour, an investment firm specialising in property. The Panama Papers reveal that in one development, his investment partners include two British Virgin Islands companies, which were backed by private equity money. Berryblue Enterprises Limited and Gaucin International Holdings Limited put money into Astor’s schemes in 2010.
Panama Papers reporting team: Juliette Garside, Luke Harding, Holly Watt, David Pegg, Helena Bengtsson, Simon Bowers, Owen Gibson and Nick Hopkins
TAP – Cameron’s real wealth is far greater. Cameron’s mother’s side is where to search as well as his father’s side, where wealth is modest in banker’s terms. His mother a Levita is part of a family that funded the Japanese pre-WW2, and own Standard Bank, almost unheard of in the UK, but huge in Asia. Like the Bushes who funded Hitler and the NAZIs pre-WW2 and made a fortune, Cameron’s family funded the Japanese. They built their fleet borrowing from them, which defeated the Russians in 1906, and grew big enough to take on the Americans in The Pacific in the 1940s. This is real money which is, of course, hidden from public view. Cameron is the political wing of the central bankers, the arms industry and the war/debt system. Of course this will be hidden at all costs. The Astors would only permit Samantha to marry someone of equal financial status. Keep digging.