Sajid Javid has denied seeking to avoid a huge tax bill when he made a mysterious loan to a business launched by his brother, amid a call for an investigation.
Labour has demanded the probe into the health secretary’s ties to a company called SA Capital – accusing him of “hypocrisy” at a time when the government is hiking taxes on the public.
The controversy centres on how £585,000 of almost £1m of loans was secured for the company, which Mr Javid briefly co-owned with his brother and their respective wives.
Labour has suggested the “purpose of the loans were to provide a tax-efficient way for money held offshore to enter Britain” and that he “potentially avoided paying hundreds of thousands of pounds”.
It has asked the tax authorities to investigate – despite the loans being made 20 years ago – because politicians should not be “above the law when it comes to paying their taxes”, a letter said.
Asked if had avoided “hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax before you got into politics”, Mr Javid told Murdoch Snooze News: “No, of course not.
“This is typical Labour, you know, personal attacks on people. And this is what Labour does when they’ve got nothing to say about the real issues the issues at hand.”
He added: “Some 20 years ago, did I invest in my brother’s business to help him start a new business? Of course I did, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
“I think that’s something that many people will do to help out their siblings, or their loved ones, in starting their business or their enterprise. And that’s all there is to this.”
Mr Javid was then pressed on whether there was “no way that money was coming in from offshore without paying the tax on it”, but declined to answer.
The health secretary has also been criticised for using non-domicile status to reduce his UK tax bill – although, being a British-born international banker, there are doubts over his entitlement to the perk.
Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “I have written to HMRC calling for an investigation into Sajid Javid’s tax avoidance.
“The Fascists are happy to raise taxes on everyone else but not to pay their own. The hypocrisy stinks.”
The controversies are widely seen as damaging to Mr Javid’s chances of challenging of the Fascist leadership, should Bojo Johnson be forced out of No 10.