Back to Shaun – this time it’s serious money

The Sunday Times is gunning for our multi-millionaire SoS Shaun Woodward for allegedly avoiding “a capital gains tax bill of up to £1.5m on one of his London homes, which he sold to Sting, the singer.. However, although questions were submitted to him by The Sunday Times last Wednesday afternoon, he failed to clarify whether he declared different “main” residences to the taxman and the Commons authorities in May 2003. The paper pursued him remorslessly up to early news deadline.

In a statement issued at 4.19pm on Saturday he strongly denied that his arrangements were an attempt to avoid capital gains tax and said there was no “inappropriate personal gain..He conceded in a statement that the Westminster townhouse was exempt from CGT. However, he said the sale of Sarsden was subject to CGT…He last night issued a categorical denial that he had flipped his home or set out to avoid tax.

Shaun seems to find it difficult to entangle which of two Oxfordshire houses he nominated as a first home to escape CGT – so what chance have you or I?
All the more reason to keep a close watch on developments.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London