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Some 380 journalists including BBC, Guardian and Private Eye work with ICIJ on ‘Paradise Papers’ tax havens data leak

By James Walker

An International Consortium of Investigative Journalists project has revealed that the Queen has millions invested in an offshore tax haven.

ICIJ says it worked with 95 media partners, including three British publications, to sift through 13.4 million files leaked from offshore firms.

The files, known as the Paradise Papers, were originally handed to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. ICIJ then received the files and began working with 380 journalists across six continents.

A total of 31 UK reporters are listed in the pool of journalists involved in the Paradise Papers investigation.

The BBC, The Guardian and Private Eye are listed as media partners on the ICIJ website.

The British press has focused on files in the Paradise Papers revealing that around £10 million from Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate has been invested in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

A small part of that investment was linked to BrightHouse, a retailer previously accused of exploiting poor customers.

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The leak has also exposed the offshore dealings of the Conservative party donor Lord Ashcroft, leaving prime minister Theresa May in a tricky position.

ICIJ and its collaborators say they “will be publishing multiple stories in the coming days and weeks” linked to the leak. Stories on multi-national companies moving their profits to tax havens will be coming this afternoon, according to ICIJ.

The Paradise Papers is the biggest data leak since last year’s Panama Papers investigation, another ICIJ project.

The Panama Papers, much like the Paradise Papers, exposed the offshore activities of Britain’s rich and powerful. Former-prime minister David Cameron’s tax affairs were at the centre of that investigation.

The BBC’s flagship investigative programme Panorama will be airing a full episode on the Paradise Papers tonight at nine on BBC One.

A clip from the programme emerged on Sunday showing Lord Ashcroft fleeing questions from BBC reporter Richard Bilton.

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