U.K.’s May Faces Call to Reveal Investments Put Into Blind Trust

  • Premier should be open about her shares, Liberal Democrats say
  • May’s office: Prime Minister set up trust when she took power

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing calls to disclose who manages her financial interests after revealing she had placed her personal investments into a blind trust.

The premier uses the “well-established mechanism” of a blind trust to manage her shareholdings in order to avoid any conflict of interests, May’s office in London said in a statement Tuesday.

“I’m sure the prime minister has nothing to hide but the public has a legitimate interest in what companies she invested in and who runs the trust,” the opposition Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron told the BBC. “Theresa May promised the most transparent government in the world. This is an early test to see if her deeds match her words.”

By using a blind trust to manage her shares, May will have have no knowledge of how the investment is run and therefore avoids the need to reveal details of any shareholdings in the government’s official register of ministerial interests.

“Blind trusts are a well-established mechanism for protecting ministers in the handling of their interests, as they are not involved in any decisions on the management, acquisition or disposal of items in the trust,” a spokeswoman for May’s office said.

May did not have the arrangement in her six years as Home Secretary but in her new role as head of the government she has a “far wider set of public duties,” the spokeswoman for her office said. “Accordingly, the blind trust was established when she became prime minister” last year, she added.

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