UK Politics

Ed Miliband should publish tax documents - Conservative MP

Ed Miliband Image copyright Reuters

A Conservative MP has called on Labour leader Ed Miliband to publish documents relating to his share of his parents' former home.

The Daily Mail says provisions were made to split ownership after his father's death, which could be used to cut inheritance tax liabilities.

A Labour spokesman said the claims were a "straightforward lie" and that "no tax was avoided".

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said Mr Miliband should be open about his tax affairs.

Mr Miliband has confirmed his mother Marion set up a deed of variation after the death of his father Ralph.

It is believed this altered provisions relating to the house in his will.

'Hiding away'

The Daily Mail reported the deed allowed ownership of the house to be split between Mrs Miliband and her sons. The paper quoted experts suggesting such arrangements could be used to reduce eventual inheritance tax liabilities.

Mr Miliband later sold his share to brother David who also bought the rest of the property from his mother.

Mr Bridgen said: "It is absolutely beyond doubt - and not for a moment denied by Ed Miliband - that he and his family used a deed of variation in 1994 and that this arrangement was in place for 10 years.

"As the former head of tax at PwC has said 'the reason people use deeds of variation is to save on inheritance tax'.

"Ed Miliband should now publish this deed of variation that he is currently hiding away and be as open about his own tax affairs as he demands others to be. The public can then judge for themselves."

But a Labour spokesman said: "Ed paid 40% capital gains tax when the house was sold in 2004/05. It can't be tax avoidance if no tax was avoided."

'Smear mud'

Mr Miliband attacked tax evasion and avoidance earlier this week and became embroiled in a row with Lord Fink over his tax affairs.

The Labour leader said of the deed variation on Thursday: "It's something that my mother did 20 years ago, that was a decision she made.

"Let me just say this: I paid tax as a result of that transaction, I've avoided no tax in that.

"No doubt the Conservative Party wants to smear mud today but, frankly, it's not going to work. The story has been written before and I have paid tax on that money."

Meanwhile, Labour has also denied Mr Miliband's aides referred to Milly Dowler when talking about the row over tax avoidance.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson wrote earlier this week that Mr Miliband saw the allegations over tax avoidance related to HSBC as an opportunity to stand up to the powerful, as he had done during the phone hacking scandal.

But he explains in a subsequent blog that a reference to Milly Dowler, who was murdered in 2002, was not a direct quote.

Related Topics

More on this story