07 Nov Digest: Paradise Papers exposes world’s elite whille ‘Pestminster’ revelations throw parliament into disarray
Leaked ‘Paradise Papers’ reveal tax haven secrets
An extraordinary leak of financial documents has revealed how the ultra-rich invest large sums of money using offshore tax havens. 13.4 million documents have been released from what are being dubbed as the Paradise Papers. Many of the stories focus on how politicians, multinationals, celebrities and high-net-worth individuals use complex structures of trusts, foundations and shell companies to protect their cash from tax officials or hide their dealings behind a veil of secrecy. The Paradise Papers show that about £10m of the Queen’s private money was invested offshore.
USB stick with details of the Queen’s security found in street
A USB stick with information regarding security measures to protect the Queen when she is at Heathrow Airport was found in the street. The memory device contained the types of ID needed to gain access to restricted areas, locations of CCTV cameras and more. An investigation as to how the USB stick was so disastrously misplaced has been launched.
Sex claims force cabinet reshuffle
Sir Michael Fallon resigned as the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence as it came to light that he inappropriately touched journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee in 2002. Subsequent allegations have surfaced from another journalist Jane Merrick who claims that Fallon lunged at her after lunch in 2003. The resignation comes in an unprecedented time in Westminster that has seen numerous sexual harassment allegations made. Theresa May has been put under pressure to reveal if she knew anything about the claims made against Tory MPs. Gavin Williamson, former Tory party whip has replaced Sir Fallon at the MoD.
Tory pest list leaked
A spreadsheet alleging 36 Tory MPs including now 19 serving ministers were guilty of inappropriate behaviour was drawn up by a secret group of secretaries was leaked. Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, has called for parliament to take immediate action as well as independent panel created to handle complaints.
Brexit studies still hidden from the public
David Davis and Theresa May are facing growing pressure to publish 58 secret studies in the economic impact of leaving the European Union. Sir Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit sec, has said that it is irresponsible to deny businesses the opportunity to plan for the future.
FBI dig deeper in to Trump campaign
George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to misleading the FBI about colluding with the Russian government to help Donald Trump during his presidential election campaign. Former campaign managers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were also charged with money laundering and conspiracy.
Terror grips NYC as ISIS claims it strikes again
Eight people were killed and almost a dozen injured when a rented pickup truck ploughed in to pedestrians and cyclists near the World Trade Center in New York City. Five of those killed were a group of Argentinian friends celebrating their 30th anniversary of graduation. The driver has been identified as Uzbekistan national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. ISIS have claimed responsibility for the tragedy.
Catalonia reclaimed as leaders turn themselves in
Carles Puigdemont has turned himself in to Belgian police following his flee to the country in the wake of central Spanish Government imposing direct rule over Catalonia. The former Catalan leader, along with four former minister fled after Spanish police declared that they were wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust following Catalonia’s independence referendum which a Spanish court deemed unconstitutional. Mr Puigdemont has said that he will not return to Spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial.