Watch: HMRC gatecrash - "We'll set the dogs on you"

Black tie protesters crash HMRC boss' retirement party.

Former HMRC boss Dave Hartnett was in the middle of a speech at a gala dinner on Thursday when a group of black-tie clad protesters walked in. Here's what happened:

The group of protesters, who call themselves WeAreTheIntruders, were referring to HMRC's "sweetheart" deals with businesses over taxes, which stirred up controversy after a whistleblower accused the company of saving Goldman Sachs £20m on an outstanding tax bill, and Vodaphone up to £8bn in taxes though a £1.25bn settlement. HMRC was cleared of the charges by the National Audit Office, but was warned over suspicious relationships with companies.

As they were ejected from the dinner, one diner was heard saying he'd "set the dogs on them".

 

Protesters posed as members of Goldman Sachs. Photograph, Getty Images
Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.