Pandora Papers: Blairs saved £312,000 stamp duty in property deal

Tony and Cherie Blair did not have to pay £312,000 in stamp duty when buying a £6.45m London townhouse, leaked documents show.

The ex-Labour prime minister and his barrister wife bought the property as an office for her business in 2017 by buying the offshore firm that owned it. Mrs Blair said the sellers had insisted the building was sold in this way but they had brought it under UK control. She said they would be liable to pay capital gains tax if they sell it.

When the property was put up for sale, the ultimate owners were a family with political connections in Bahrain - but both parties say they did not initially know who they were dealing with. Mrs Blair said her husband’s only involvement in the transaction was that the mortgage for the property used their joint income and capital.

The revelation is contained in the Pandora Papers, a leak detailing the work of companies offering offshore financial services in the British Virgin Islands, Singapore, Panama, Belize, Switzerland and other countries.

BBC Panorama in a joint investigation with the Guardian and other media partners have had access to nearly 12 million documents and files.

Since leaving Downing Street in 2007, the Blairs have built up a significant property portfolio. Altogether they are reported to have spent more than £30,000,000 on 38 residential properties before they bought the office.

Documents show how the way the property in Harcourt Street, Marylebone, was acquired in July 2017 saved the Blairs a bill for stamp duty.

The four-floor building is now home to Mrs Blair’s legal advisory firm, Omnia Strategy, and her foundation for women.

No laws were broken in buying the Harcourt Street office but Mr Blair had previously been critical of tax loopholes, once saying “the tax system is a haven of scams, perks, City deals and profits”.

In his first speech as Labour leader in 1994, Mr Blair said:

“Millionaires with the right accountant pay nothing while pensioners pay VAT on fuel. Offshore trusts get tax relief while homeowners pay VAT on insurance premiums. We will create a tax system that is fair which is related to ability to pay.”

What a thoroughly disreputable and unlikeable pair of charmless nerks … :roll_eyes:


I’ve always considered the Labour Party worse than the Tories.
The Conservatives don’t pretend to be concerned about ordinary people.

1 Like

Is anyone remotely surprised about what the Pandora Papers are exposing if so where you born yesterday.
Corruption is rife throughout the world nowadays, politicians wring their hands, wag their fingers, make speeches promising change whilst setting up their offshore bank accounts and companies.
Love the BBC’s holier than though attitude in their reporting, a company not adverse to a bit of corruption themselves when it came to paying their high earners.


Why am I not surprised

Always questioned stuff, now its harder not to be a hypocrite, but, at the time, there weren’t much Labour about New Labour. :smiley:

1 Like

More ‘Panorama’ sensation.

What about the £Ms he gives to charity?

What about the lives lost, the £8.4bn cost of the illegal Iraq war?


Oh I thought this thread was about the Blair’s personal finances, not some massive blunder whilst PM.

1 Like

It’s the Panama Papers round 2. There will be familiar names exposed and still nothing substantial will be done. Where’s a friendly billionaire when you need one?

You can feel as outraged as you like but you will still vote the same entitled hooray Henrys in at the next election.

Who in their right mind would give £310,000 to the taxman when it’s not legally necessary?

Or is tax avoidance for Tories only, not newlabourite Tory wannabes?

This is the same man who at a conference speech castigated those people who used offshore accounts and bank accounts and vowed to do something about it which of course he didn’t being as corrupt as the rest of them.
He and his wife have turned tax avoidance and particularly stamp duty an art form involving his children.
But hey let us not criticise him.

1 Like

Be honest. If you were in the same position and knew you could get away with it are you telling me you would not do the same? They are not the only ones, there are thousands out there who have done the same but because their names are not well known they get no publicity.

Of course I would but what I would not be doing is making speeches about how wrong or immoral it was.

That is true and even though some attempt has been made to show “our” dissatisfaction as in the last general election it is unlikely that this is going to change because, to put it bluntly, there is no real alternative other than to keep voting the way “we” do.
Until there is a genuine alternative things will stay pretty much the same.

Given they are all at it the expenses scandal proved that then it really does not matter who you vote for one party is as dirty as another. And don’t get me started on the big unions where corruption is endemic.

That’s politics for you: BS.

Scum © Angela Rayner.

With the Blairs, this is just the tip of a huge iceberg, but the problem is, getting from the tip to the bottom and then publishing the results.

1 Like

Telling something known to be totally unproven, as a provable fact is not a blunder, it is telling a lie.

No hypocrisy there, then. Blair has always felty grubby & untrustworthy.