Following recent revelations about British Prime Minister David Cameron’s personal stake in an offshore Bahamas-based trust held by his father Ian–one of the many names linked in the ongoing Panama Papers data leak–thousands of people gathered in London today to demand Cameron’s resignation.
The protest drew inspiration from similar actions taken by citizens in Iceland, when thousands of protestors marched on Reykjavik to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson after documents linking him to the Panama Papers were leaked.
The Daily Mirror has been following the protests as they unfold outside the Tory Spring Conference. Protestors marched to the conference from Downing Street earlier that day, and returned to Downing Street shortly afterwards. Many claim they will continue to protest until David Cameron finally resigns.
Around 5,000 showed up for the demonstration, according to official press counts. Organizers are claiming that the number may have been around 14,000.
NSA whistleblower and public educator Edward Snowden tweeted to his 2 million followers on Thursday about the incident:
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 7, 2016
It is safe to say that members of the British public followed through on Snowden’s tweet and hashtag #ResignCameron. Shortly after Snowden’s tweet, an event page on Facebook was created, leading the NSA whistleblower to tweet the following:
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 8, 2016
A petition has now emerged for Parliament to hold another General Election in 2016 to determine a new Prime Minister, which has already reached over 110,000 signatures as of this writing. Here’s to hoping this movement gains some traction for the British, who have to otherwise endure his Prime Ministership until 2020 despite the fact that he only won 37% of the popular vote in 2015, a victory he receives only due to the deficiencies of a First Past The Post voting system. Many protestors today also came in support of electoral reform.
Cameron admitted at the Tory Spring Conference that “it has not been a good week” for him and the Conservative Party. He stated, bluntly, “I should have handled it better.” It remains to be known what “handling it better” actually would’ve entailed. Did he mean to say, “I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those meddling kids at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)?”
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, released a statement about the Panama Papers scandal on the day of the protests:
‘The revelations of industrial scale tax dodging and corruption from Panama haven’t just raised issues about the Prime Minister’s personal integrity. They also highlight his Government’s failure to take decisive action to crack down on tax avoidance and evasion.
‘Dodging taxes is a moral issue. It is taking money for schools and hospitals out of the pockets of working people. The government must now take decisive action against tax avoidance and evasion.’
Corbyn, whose landslide election to the head of the Labour Party sent shockwaves through the British political elite last year, has often been referred to as the “British Bernie Sanders” by Americans. Likewise, Sanders is sometimes referred to as the “American Jeremy Corbyn” by the British. Both politicians have expressed mutual admiration for one another’s political movements in the past, despite some minor policy differences between the two.
Featured image via Getty.