A London Vodaphone store was closed by angry protesters holding placards reading ‘tax dodgers’ and ‘pay your taxes’ and ‘save our welfare state’.

The protest, organised via twitter and other social network sites, is over HM Revenue & Customs’ alleged decision to stop chasing Vodafone over £6 billion worth of taxes.

Protestor Chris Coltrane tweeted from the demonstration: “Vodafone have dodged £6bn tax. That would have paid for almost all the welfare cuts.

“We’re shutting down their flagship store in protest,” Sky News reports.

However an HMRC spokesperson said:
“We cannot comment on the detail of the settlement but we can confirm that it was reached by HMRC following a rigorous examination of the facts and an intensive process of negotiation that tested the arguments of both parties. 

“As a result it was agreed that Vodafone’s liability was £1.25bn and at no point was a liability greater than that established. There is no question of Vodafone having an outstanding tax liability of £6bn.  That number is an urban myth.”

Vodafone disputes not paying the £6 bn tax bill and has confirmed the shop will remain closed until it is safe to re-open.

– Alison Grinter