Danny Alexander twists knife on Cameron’s Carr comments

The prime minister's own chief secretary to the Treasury joined the chorus of criticism against his comments on Jimmy Carr today.

Speaking to the BBC, Danny Alexander issued a not-so-subtle rebuke to the prime minister for his attack on the comedian's tax arrangements.

"'As a Treasury minister I wouldn't get into any individual's tax affairs," Mr Alexander said, in a tactic criticism which will raise eyebrows in Downing Street.

While Mr Carr's tax strategy caused a ripple of outrage across the British press, Mr Cameron won few plaudits for his response to the report, with many warning that it would serve to highlight the tax affairs of his own friends and colleagues.

The Observer revealed today that George Robinson, a hedge-fund manager who donated more than £250,000 to the Tories, shared a tax avoidance scheme with Mr Carr.

Both men were directors of a company called Romangate, which was part of a mass tax avoidance strategy called Rushmore which ended in 2009.

Elsewhere in his interview Mr Alexander echoed George Osborne's argument that tax avoidance is "morally repugnant".

He added: "It's the working people who are paying the difference, because the wealthiest people aren't paying their share."

Meanwhile, Mr Cameron used an interview in the Sunday Mail to suggest under-25s could lose the right to housing benefit, in a clear pitch to right-wing voters.

He said the move could save £2 billion a year and encourage young people to work.