Jeremy Corbyn says 'nothing hidden' as Labour rejects claims over tax return

"Transparency invites scrutiny. I welcome it, as should all those seeking highest office"

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Jeremy Corbyn has insisted there is "nothing missing, nothing hidden" in his tax affairs as Labour rejected allegations he failed to properly declare his income as Leader of the Opposition.

The party said it was confident the details of Mr Corbyn's tax return were in order after the leader faced questions over his earnings.

Details released on the Labour leader's website on Sunday said he earned £114,342 in 2015/16, on which he paid £35,298 in tax.

The Labour leader said: "Transparency invites scrutiny. I welcome it, as should all those seeking highest office.

"My taxes (are) fully paid, nothing missing, nothing hidden."

Mr Corbyn's tax return showed he earned £77,019 from all employments, £36,045 from UK pensions and state benefits, £1,200 profit from self-employment, and £78 in interest from UK bank and building societies during the period.

Mr Corbyn took over as Labour chief in September 2015 and was entitled to draw the salary on offer to the holder of the position of Leader of the Opposition, an annual £63,489 in 2015-16, on top of his MP's pay of £74,000 and a further £3,760 London allowance for MPs representing a seat in the capital.

The Government's consolidated fund accounts for 2015-16 show Mr Corbyn was paid £30,587 as Leader of the Opposition from September 2015.

But Labour said he received an extra payment of £27,192 for the role, which was recorded in the document as "public office" under the heading "UK pensions, annuities and other state benefits received", rather than as income.

A Labour spokeswoman said: "The extra payment following Jeremy's election as Labour leader of £27,192 is recorded in the tax return under the heading of 'public office'.

"We are confident the total income of £114,342 in the tax return is correct, as is the income tax charge of £35,298. Nearly all the tax was paid at source."

The spokeswoman said the £27,192 sum was recorded in Mr Corbyn's end-of-year P60 tax summary and could not explain why the Government accounts gave a different sum.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman refused to be drawn on the apparent discrepancy, saying: "We are not in the business of talking about people's salaries."

Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond have said they will not release their latest tax statements and it appeared there was no agreement within the Labour hierarchy about the move.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour: "I would always normally follow Jeremy Corbyn's lead but I think we are going to have to discuss this as a shadow cabinet if we are all going to publish our tax returns."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman pointed out that Mrs May had published her tax returns as part of the Conservative leadership contest in July last year, but said she had "no plans" to do so again.

"There was no commitment given and there is no long-standing convention to publish and no plans to do so," the spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing.