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Barlow: 'My tax issues are private'

Gary Barlow Credit: PA

Take That star Gary Barlow, who was involved in a tax avoidance scandal this year, has claimed that fans of his music are "not interested" in his financial issues.

In an interview to launch the group's new album, the Frodsham born singer admitted that the tax situation was a "problem" but went on to say it was a private matter.

He came in for criticism earlier this year when it emerged that he, bandmates Howard Donald, Mark Owen and manager Jonathan Wild had invested tens of millions of pounds in what have been described as tax avoidance schemes.

Barlow kept his head down when the storm blew up earlier this year, waiting almost four months to post an "apology" on Twitter last month, as well as telling fans he had a new album.

In the message, he wrote: "I want to apologise to anyone who was offended by the tax stories earlier this year."

Speaking to today's Sun about the controversy, Barlow said: "It's a problem. It's something we've got to get to the bottom of and sort.

"Our fans, they want to buy our records and watch our tours. They're not interested."

He went on: "We can't talk about it and, to be honest, I don't want to talk about it. It's actually a private thing."

The group debuted their new single These Days on the radio this morning following the departure of Jason Orange. He was not involved in the tax scheme, but the group have denied his exit was anything to do with the financial arrangements.

David Cameron rejected calls for Barlow to hand back his OBE after he was ordered to pay back millions of pounds as a result of a court ruling that the scheme was set up for tax relief.

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PM rejects calls for Barlow to hand back OBE

Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected calls for Take That star Gary Barlow to hand back his OBE over claims the pop star invested in a tax avoidance scheme.

Mr Cameron said he did not think that removing the honour from Barlow was "necessary".

I mean Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country, he has raised money for charity, he has done very well for Children in Need, so I'm not sure... the OBE is in respect of that work and what he has done.

But clearly what this scheme was was wrong and it is right that they are going to have to pay back the money.

I am against these aggressive tax avoidance schemes but I am not just against them - this Government has taken a huge amount of steps to legislate and toughen the laws and go after aggressive tax avoidance schemes for the very simple reason that if people go after these schemes and aggressively avoid tax they are making it the case that everyone else has to pay higher taxes as a result."

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Barlow and two other members of Take That refused to comment on reports over the weekend that they face having to pay tens of millions of pounds in tax after a court ruled a partnership in which they invested was a tax avoidance scheme.

The singer along with Howard Donald, Mark Owen and their manager Jonathan Wild invested £66 million into two partnerships styled as music industry investment schemes, according to reports.

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PM: 'Not necessary' for Gary Barlow to give back OBE

It is "not necessary" for Gary Barlow to return his OBE despite his involvement in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme, the Prime Minister has told Good Morning Britain.

David Cameron said the Take That singer had "done a huge amount for the country".

But the Prime Minister said the scheme that Barlow and bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen invested in was clearly "wrong" and said: "It's right that they are going to have to pay back the money."

The Take That trio may have to pay back £26 million after Judge Colin Bishop ruled that 51 partnerships set up by Icebreaker Management were used for tax avoidance purposes.

Barlow urged to return OBE over tax

Gary Barlow Credit: PA

Take That star Gary Barlow is facing calls to hand back his OBE over claims he invested in a tax avoidance scheme.

Prime Minister David Cameron hit out at "aggressive" tax avoiders while senior MPs from across the political spectrum waded in to voice their displeasure.

The singer from Cheshire and two other members of Take That refused to comment on reports over the weekend that they face having to pay tens of millions of pounds in tax after a court ruled a partnership in which they invested was a tax avoidance scheme.

Barlow along with Howard Donald, Mark Owen and their manager Jonathan Wild invested £66 million into two-partnerships styled as music-industry investment schemes, according to reports.

Judge Colin Bishopp ruled that 51 partnerships set up by Icebreaker Management were to secure tax relief for members and HM Revenue and Customs is now expected to demand repayment.

It was alleged in 2012 that Barlow, Donald, Owen and Wild invested at least £26 million in a scheme run by Icebreaker Management. At the time Take That's lawyers insisted the bandmates believed the investments were legitimate enterprises and that all four named paid "significant tax".

Mr Cameron told The Times: "I am opposed to all aggressive tax avoidance." Barlow, who has previously been seen on the campaign trail with Mr Cameron, masterminded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert and was given an honour for services to the entertainment industry and to charity in 2012.

Labour's Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, who has brought a spotlight to bear on tax avoidance, said Barlow "might want to show a bit of contrition by giving back his OBE".

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Take That stars' investor 'disappointed' with tax ruling

A management company for three stars of pop band Take That has said it is "extremely disappointed" with a court ruling that they may need to pay millions of pounds after claims of tax avoidance.

Take That singers Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Gary Barlow. Credit: PA

Icebreaker Management set up 51 partnerships for investments totalling £26 million from Take That members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, but Judge Colin Bishopp said the partnerships - styled as music industry investment schemes - were used for tax avoidance.

Icebreaker Management said it was considering the ruling and whether to appeal, but HMRC said: "We will not tolerate abuse of the system by people trying to dodge their tax obligations."

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Gary Barlow rescues Blackpool lights switch-on

Gary Barlow has stepped in to save the day after Irish rockers The Script cancelled playing at Blackpool Illuminations switch-on.

He tweeted the confirmation this evening, less than 24 hours before the event.

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Celebrities in Cornwall as part of driving challenge

Celebrities start driving challenge in Cornwall Credit: Breast Cancer Care

Gary Barlow, Chris Evans, James May and Brian Cox have set off from Lands End in a pink Rolls Royce raising money for Breast Cancer Care.

The challenge will see them driving from Land's End to John O'Groats in a bespoke pink Rolls Royce Ghost.

They want to try and raise £1 million in 24 hours.

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Gary Barlow and friends prepare for charity drive

Gary Barlow heads off on a charity drive from Land's End to John O'Groats today accompanied by Professor Brian Cox, Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans and Top Gear's James May.

The celebrities will travel in the same car - a pink Rolls Royce with an "FAB1" numberplate - and are expected to arrive in John O'Groats at around 4am on Friday morning.

Barlow and May spoke to Daybreak about their journey - with a little help from Cox:

Stars charity challenge for Breast Cancer Care

Gary Barlow, James May, Brian Cox and Chris Evans raise money for Breast Cancer Care Photo: Twitter/@FAB1million

Gary Barlow will be joined by celebrity friends today as he heads off on a charity drive from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Top Gear presenter James May, Professor Brian Cox and Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans will take the trip with the Take That singer to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

All four of the celebs will travel in the same car, a pink Rolls Royce, and are expected to arrive in John O'Groats at around 4am on Friday morning.Making a few stop offs along the way to meet fans, they will take it in turns to drive,aiming to raise £1 million for Breast Cancer Care.

The car has the same 'FAB1' numberplate as Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope Credit: Twitter/@FAB1million

The route:

Land's End - arrive for 9.45am

Bristol (Cribbs Causeway, BS34 5DG) - arrive for 1.20pm

Birmingham (Car Park N1, The NEC, B40 1NT) - arrive for 3pm

Warrington (Golden Square Shopping Centre) - arrive for 5.30pm

Glasgow (SECC, G3 8YW) - arrive for 9.30pm

John O'Groats - arrive for 4am

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