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Boris Johnson has condemned "sneering" at Starbucks after the firm volunteered to pay millions of pounds more tax.
The London Mayor defended companies like the coffee chain who had been minimising their bills to the Exchequer, insisting they had a duty to shareholders.
Speaking on Sky News's Murnaghan programme, Mr Johnson admitted that Starbucks had got into a "hell of a mess".
But he said:
Coffee chain Starbucks has been hit by protests at branches across the country over its tax arrangements, despite announcing changes to its payments.
One store in Vigo Street, central London, was occupied by protesters at 12pm and then temporarily closed.
Dozens of activists chanted "pay your tax" and waved placards and banners outside, shutting off the street to traffic under the gaze of the police.
Coffee chain Starbucks is braced for protests over its tax arrangements despite announcing changes to its payments.
The US-owned giant said it expects to pay around £10 million in UK corporation tax for each of the next two years, following the revelation that it paid just £8.6 million in 14 years of trading in Britain and nothing in the last three years.
Activist group UK Uncut said it was planning more than 40 demonstrations across the country, "transforming" Starbucks stores into refuges, creches and homeless shelters.
A spokesman for JPMorgan, who are close to a settlement with the Government over a tax-avoidance scheme, told the Financial Times:
JPMorgan are close to a £500 million settlement with the Government over a tax-avoidance scheme for bonuses, according to the Financial Times.
The investment bank is reportedly winding up a Jersey-based trust and has asked more than 2,000 current and former staff to contribute to the settlement.
The news comes with corporations' tax affairs facing increased scrutiny, after Starbucks this week responded to public anger by volunteering to pay millions of pounds to the Treasury.
The campaign organisation UK Uncut says that planned protests outside 40 Starbucks stores will take place this weekend, despite the organisation offering to pay £10 million pounds in corporation tax.
Spokeswoman Hannah Pearce said that offering to pay some tax "if and when it suits" did not stop the company being a tax avoider.
"Today's announcement is just a desperate attempt to deflect public pressure" she continued.
"There is no money yet, and hollow promises on press releases don't fund women's refuges or child benefits."
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Starbucks volunteers to pay £20 million in corporation tax but will it be enough to satisfy tax dodging campaigners?