The release of the Panama leaks has once again put the issue of tax evasion and tax havens back in the spotlight, with much attention turning to the UK, and in particular its overseas territories, of which many are tax havens.
While Cameron has tried to promote his government as world leaders on the issue, his failure to convince the overseas territories and crown dependencies to fall in line with UK policy and be more transparent with tax affairs has led to widespread international criticism.
Retweet if you think it's an incy-wincy bit inappropriate for David Cameron to chair an international Anti-Corruption Summit this week— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) May 9, 2016
The Panama leaks also revealed the extent to which the UK is at the heart of global tax evasion, with more than half of the offshore companies set-up by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca located in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
The BVI, along with other crown dependencies, have rejected calls to join an automatic exchange of information initiative agreed upon last month, featuring the UK, Germany, France, Italy and more than two dozen other countries.
David Cameron taking the moral high ground over corruption, you couldn't make it up! https://t.co/8XuFdzrSCP— Scott Nelson (@SocialistVoice) May 8, 2016
The development represents an embarrassing situation for Cameron, who is under pressure from the public and other world leaders to ensure the UK's overseas dependencies meet international standards on tax.
'Fantastically Corrupt' Countries Attending Summit
The overseas territories' commitment to significant reform on the issue of financial security remains unknown. While representatives from the Cayman Islands have confirmed they will attend this week's anti-corruption summit in London, the BVI government has yet to announce whether it will send officials to the event.
Leaders from more than 40 different countries, along with representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are expected to attend the London Anti-Corruption Summit, where much discussion will center on the issue of tax havens and tax evasion.
One is not impressed with David Cameron —— Tahira Mirza (@tahiramirza1) May 10, 2016
The Queen speaks to Cameron during a reception in Buckingham Palace pic.twitter.com/Zxlbu62rYL
While the event is aimed at tackling global corruption, David Cameron was caught on camera telling Queen Elizabeth that representatives from some "fantastically corrupt" countries were due to attend the summit.
"We had a very successful cabinet meeting this morning, talking about our anti-corruption summit," Cameron was heard telling the queen in a video feed captured by broadcaster ITN.
"We have got the Nigerians — actually we have got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan — possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world."