The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was asked—
I congratulate Her Majesty the Queen, Duke of Lancaster, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on their platinum wedding anniversary, and I pay tribute to their decades of public service to our country.
Her Majesty voluntarily pays tax on all income received from the duchy. The duchy’s investment strategy is based on advice and recommendations from its investment consultants.
One of the revelations we saw in the Paradise papers was an investment by the royal estate in the shambolic and exploitative company BrightHouse, which preys on and exploits many of my constituents. Does the Minister understand the absolute anger in Glasgow East at that revelation, and what is he going to do about it?
The investment in BrightHouse was made through a third party, equates to £3,208 and represents 0.0006% of the duchy’s value.
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that some of the investments that the Opposition have talked about were made in 2005, under the previous Labour Government?
Bearing in mind what the shadow Chancellor, the right hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell), said when a statement was made on the Paradise papers, perhaps he should have checked that out, because I can confirm to my hon. Friend that the last investment of this sort was made in 2005.
Donations to political parties show stark differences between our party and the Government’s. They are dependent on the ultra-wealthy few, while our party is powered by the many. In the light of the revelation in the Paradise papers that key Tory donor Lord Ashcroft was using offshore tax havens to shelter his wealth, will the Minister and his colleagues be accepting his donations to the Conservative party?
That is all very well, but unfortunately it does not in any way appertain to the Queen’s private estate, which is rather a different matter from the Conservative party. We will press on. Well done.