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Sajid Javid dodges questions over previous tax affairs at campaign launch

Sajid Javid speaks during the launch of his campaign to be Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, at the Cinnamon Club in London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Sajid Javid speaks during the launch of his campaign to be Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, at the Cinnamon Club in London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Sajid Javid, the former chancellor and health secretary bidding to become Conservative leader, has refused to give details about which jurisdictions he has previously paid taxes in.

Mr Javid, who is bidding to replace Boris Johnson in a crowded field of Tory candidates, insisted that he had always been “transparent” with the tax authorities.

In a campaign launch in central London on Monday, the Bromsgrove MP revealed plans to woo Tory colleagues and grassroots activists with a promise of tax cuts and an ambitious house-building programme as he said that Conservatives were facing a “wake up and smell the coffee” moment.

Conservative leadership bid
Sajid Javid mops his face during the launch of his campaign to be Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, at the Cinnamon Club in London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

But questions about his former tax arrangements overshadowed part of the launch, with Mr Javid declining repeatedly to get into specifics about where he has previously paid tax.

Mr Javid had previously disclosed that for six years while working as an international banker and before entering politics he was non-domiciled for tax purposes.

But under questioning from reporters, he refused to give details of where he had been domiciled for tax purposes.

“I believe I’ve been open and transparent about this. I’ve set out before this campaign that, because… before politics my job was an international job, I travelled a lot,” he said.

“I lived in the (United) States, I lived in the UK, I lived in Singapore, I was tax resident in different countries, as part of my job, it had an impact on my statuses. That’s not unusual.

“I had a tax adviser, accountants that would help me with my international taxes, I moved around a lot.

Sajid Javid arrives to launch his campaign to be Conservative Party leader at the Cinnamon Club in London
Sajid Javid arrives to launch his campaign to be Conservative Party leader at the Cinnamon Club in London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“And the test for me was to make sure that whatever you do, when it comes to your taxes, your personal tax affairs, that is always correct, proper, within all the rules, and that was met at all times.

“So I am perfectly happy about that. And I am certain that I’ve never had an issue with HMRC. I’ve never had a tax investigation. I’ve always been transparent, fully transparent, with the tax authorities.”

Asked which countries he had been domiciled in for tax purposes, Sajid Javid said: “I’ve moved to different jurisdictions, I’ve lived in different jurisdictions and I’ve been really clear about the reasons for that, in terms of my international travel.

“I’m not getting into any more detail (on) my personal tax affairs that were to do with a time that I was not in public life.

“I haven’t been non-domiciled in all my time in public life, and that’s where I would leave it.”