Death threats

Tax boss got death threats over Brexit costs warning

#Brexit special section Daily news News

Britain’s most senior tax official says he received death threats after revealing that a customs arrangement favoured by Brexit hardliners could cost up to £20 billion.

Jon Thompson, boss of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received two death threats and was forced to review security and change his route to work.

They came after he told the Treasury select committee in May that any Brexit deal that meant Britain did not follow EU rules on goods would carry a high price.

Mr Thompson reported the threats to police and said: “We have had to literally change how I travel and what my personal security is.”

He told audience members at the Institute for Government: “We have had two death threats investigated by the Metropolitan Police for speaking truth unto power about Brexit.”

Mr Thompson added: “I’m still not going to back away from the truth if I think something’s not going to work – it’s incumbent upon me.

“We live in a democracy, so in the end it’s for governments to decide, ministers to decide, what they want to implement.

“Our role as civil servants is to act with integrity and to give them our best advice.”

A number of MPs have also received threats over their Brexit stance, including Conservative Remainers Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan and Dominic Grieve.

In July last year, aristocrat Rhodri Phillips was jailed for 12 weeks after he offered £5,000 to anyone who prepared to run over anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.

Mrs Miller had attracted abuse and threats for taking the Government to court to force it to consult Parliament before commencing the Brexit process.

Mr Thompson had made his comments on the cost of the so-called ‘max fac’ arrangements favoured by hard Brexiteers.

They were immediately cited by Remain supporters as evidence that the cost of leaving the single market and customs union was too high.

A Downing Street spokesman said it was “unacceptable” for threats to be made against anyone who was just doing their job.

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