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Cameron 'used Carr as G20 distraction'

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of using his attack on the tax affairs of comedian Jimmy Carr as a distraction from the G20 summit's failure to secure a route out of the economic crisis.

Labour leader Ed Miliband mocked Mr Cameron for choosing to speak out about the avoidance scheme used by Mr Carr but refusing to condemn Take That star Gary Barlow who was also accused of using a complex scheme to avoid paying millions of pounds to HM Revenue and Customs.

In the Commons Mr Miliband said: "No wonder he was looking for something else to talk about during the summit.

"Of course he found it . . . the tax affairs of Jimmy Carr.

"And on what he called the 'Gary Barlow situation' he said this, and I'm not making this up, I promise, he said this: 'as soon as I get in front of a computer I will have a look at it'.

"On Thursday, the now familiar sound of screeching tyres could be heard, the U-turn was well and truly under way.

"He said this: 'I'm not going to give a running commentary on different people's tax affairs. I don't think that would be right'.

"This is a prime minister who has come back from that summit with nothing for Britain, nothing to turn round the double dip recession, nothing to help Britain's families, nothing to ensure growth in the world economy," Mr Miliband said.

Mr Cameron responded by attacking Labour's former London mayor Ken Livingstone's tax arrangements.

"We heard with Ken Livingstone that it is Labour politicians that are involved in tax avoidance and now we know a new rule: they will stand up for tax avoiders wherever they are."

Irish Independent