Labour have demanded the government makes public what they knew about the HSBC tax-dodging scandal following claims that seven Tory donors, who between them gave the Conservative Party more than £5 million, were on a list of the bank's account holders.
Ed Miliband and three of his party's backbenchers posed questions at today's Prime Minister's Questions calling for David Cameron to clarify whether he had talked to former HSBC boss Lord Green either before, or after, his appointment as Britain's trade minister about the bank's tax-dodging allegations.
Speaking in the Commons Miliband branded Cameron "a dodgy Prime Minister, surrounded by dodgy donors" who was "up to his neck" in the tax avoidance scandal.
He said: "How can the Prime Minister explain the revolving door between the Tory Party HQ and the Swiss branch of HSBC?"
Cameron, who appointed Lord Green as trade minister in 2011 following the bank boss' departure from HSBC, responded by saying "every proper process" had been followed during the appointment period.
He said: "When I appointed Stephen Green, every proper process was followed. I consulted the Cabinet Secretary, I consulted the director for propriety and ethics, and the House of Lords Appointments Commission now looks at someone's individual tax affairs before giving them a peerage."
The row over who knew what about HSBC's alleged tax avoidance follows the publication in The Guardian of a list of Conservative donors who it is said were listed in the files relating to clients of HSBC's Swiss subsidiary. A number of Labour donors were also listed in the article.
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who was named in The Guardian's report, denied that he had a Swiss bank account.
Goldsmith said: "It has never been a secret that I am a beneficiary of a Trust set up by my late father and administered by a family office in Geneva ... I have never had a Swiss bank account, and do not control any Swiss bank accounts. I have never sought or been given tax minimisation advice by HSBC, directly or indirectly."
HSBC's Geneva office is currently facing allegations that staff encouraged customers to dodge tax.