Sajid Javid refuses to divulge former tax arrangements as Tory leadership race continues
Sajid Javid, who is bidding to become the next Conservative leader, has refused to give details about which jurisdictions he has previously paid taxes in.
Instead, the MP for Bromsgrove insisted he had always been "transparent" with tax authorities.
In a campaign launch in central London today, Mr Javid revealed ambitious plans to offer tax cuts and an ambitious house-building programme as he said that the Conservatives were facing a "wake up and smell the coffee" moment.
However, questions about his former tax arrangements overshadowed part of the launch, with Mr Javid repeatedly declining to get into specifics about where he has previously paid tax.
He had previously disclosed that for six years while working as an international banker and before entering politics he was non-domiciled for tax purposes.
But under questioning from reporters, he refused to give details of where he had been domiciled for tax purposes.
"I believe I’ve been open and transparent about this. I’ve set out before this campaign that, because… before politics my job was an international job, I travelled a lot," he said.
"I lived in the (United) States, I lived in the UK, I lived in Singapore, I was tax resident in different countries, as part of my job, it had an impact on my statuses. That’s not unusual."
He adds: "I had a tax adviser, accountants that would help me with my international taxes, I moved around a lot.
“And the test for me was to make sure that whatever you do, when it comes to your taxes, your personal tax affairs, that is always correct, proper, within all the rules, and that was met at all times.
“So I am perfectly happy about that. And I am certain that I’ve never had an issue with HMRC. I’ve never had a tax investigation. I’ve always been transparent, fully transparent, with the tax authorities.”
Asked which countries he had been domiciled in for tax purposes, Mr Javid said: “I’ve moved to different jurisdictions, I’ve lived in different jurisdictions and I’ve been really clear about the reasons for that, in terms of my international travel.
“I’m not getting into any more detail (on) my personal tax affairs that were to do with a time that I was not in public life.
“I haven’t been non-domiciled in all my time in public life, and that’s where I would leave it.”
In a seemingly in-direct dig at former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who last week announced his own leadership bid to replace Mr Johnson, Mr Javid said: "I'm not here to polish my backstory, I think many people know it.
"I don't have a ready made logo or a slick video ready to go."
He adds: "What I do have, is a passionate desire to get Britain onto the right course and steer us through the gathering storm.
"From Windrush to Covid-19, people have turned to me when times are tough."
The former Health Secretary said he "spoke from the heart" when he resigned last week after losing confidence in Boris Johnson.
Mr Javid led the wave of more than 50 other MP's resigning from Governmental positions and withdrawing support for the prime minister.
When quizzed on why he didn't leave Mr Johnson's cabinet sooner, he said he did think about leaving sooner, but every-time "i convinced myself to give the benefit of the doubt"
Adding, "Perhaps i should have left earlier, but i didn't see anyone else leave any earlier than me".
As part of his bid for leadership, Mr Javid announced a "new Conservative economic plan" and called for tax cuts.
He said: "I’ve always believed in free enterprise, low taxation and sensible regulation as the conditions that are necessary for growth and levelling up across the country.
"Some say you can’t have tax cuts until you have growth, but I say, ‘no, it’s the other way around’. We need tax cuts to kick start growth.”
He added tax cuts were "not enough", calling for an "infrastructure revolution", investment in skills and a series of new garden villages to increase housebuilding.
The scramble for the Tory leadership race is underway with elections taking place in a number of weeks.