LONDON, April 16 (UPI) — Protesters numbering in the tens of thousands crowded central London on Saturday calling for an end to austerity measures put in place by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government.
Protesters converged on Trafalgar Square under rainy skies, holding banners calling for an end to the Tory government and Cameron’s resignation amid intense criticism over an off-shore bank account that was revealed as part of the so-called Panama Papers leak.
Panama Papers documents revealed Cameron was part owner of an off-shore bank account he said was set up by his father. Cameron said he divested himself of the account prior to becoming prime minister in 2010.
Demonstrators called for greater investments in health care, education and raises for public employees.
As a response to Europe’s debt crisis, Cameron’s government put tight restrictions on government spending that have angered many taxpayers who want more government services.
Protesters chanted, “No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts” and carried placards reading “Ditch Dodgy Dave.”
The domestic political tension comes as the United Kingdom faces a contentious vote on June 23 on whether to remain part of the European Union. Cameron has broken with more than half of the Conservative members of parliament, saying he believes the UK should remain part of the Eurozone. Many in his own party have called for the “Brexit” — British exit — amid growing anger over economic stagnation and Europe’s massive refugee crisis and lax immigration laws.