David Cameron says Gary Barlow should keep his OBE

David Cameron has said Take That star, Gary Barlow should keep his OBE.

The UK Prime Minister has dismissed calls for Gary Barlow to return his OBE, following reports of the singer using a tax avoidance scheme.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, had stated that Barlow “might show a bit of contrition by giving back his OBE”.

Barlow, his Take That bandmates Mark Owen and Howard Donald and their manager Jonathan Wild were recently revealed to be among around 1,000 people who put money into schemes said to be supporting the music industry.

However, it was later ruled that the partnerships were actually created for tax avoidance purposes.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Cameron said that Barlow has done a “huge amount” for charity over the years, but that he is against “aggressive tax avoidance schemes”.

“If people go after these schemes and aggressively avoid tax they’re making it the case that everyone else has to pay higher taxes as a result.

“We should be very clear: tax evasion is illegal, you can be prosecuted for that, you can go to prison.

“Tax avoidance is, in these cases, these very aggressive tax avoidance schemes. They are wrong and we should really persuade people not to do them, and that’s why we have these court cases where the court looks at whether a scheme is more about avoiding tax than anything else.”

When asked whether Barlow should return his OBE, he said: “I don’t think that is necessary, frankly.

“Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country, he’s raised money for charity, he has done very well for Children in Need. The OBE was in respect of that work and what he has done.

“Clearly this scheme was wrong and it is right that they’re going to have to pay back the money.”