Margaret Hodge
Margaret Hodge has been one of the fiercest critics of tax avoidance schemes (Reuters)

The former head of parliament's public accounts committee - and a fierce critic of tax avoidance and "secretive" offshore funds - has received more than £1.5m in shares from the tax haven of Liechtenstein, according to a report.

The money came through a controversial scheme that lets wealthy Britons move undeclared assets back to the UK without facing criminal action.

Labour's Margaret Hodge was, according to The Times, among the beneficiaries in 2011 of the winding-up of a Liechtenstein trust that held shares in the private steel-trading business set up by her father.

The Times reports that just under 96,000 Stemcor shares handed to Hodge in 2011 came from the tiny principality, which is renowned for low tax rates. Three quarters of the shares in the family's Liechtenstein trust had previously been held in Panama, which Ms Hodge described last month as "one of the most secretive jurisdictions" with "the least protection anywhere in the world against money laundering".

The shares were transferred onshore using the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF), a tax deal signed between Britain and the principality to allow thousands of wealthy individuals to move billions of pounds back to Britain in return for paying the tax owed and a penalty.

Last month. Hodge's committee raised doubts over the LDF. The MPs questioned whether it "struck the right balance between prosecuting tax evaders and allowing them to settle their affairs".

A report by the committee said: "We are concerned that the current system still causes the odds to be stacked in favour of tax evaders using offshore accounts when the worst that will happen if they are caught is that they will pay the tax they owe and a fine."

Nigel Mills, the Conservative candidate for Amber Valley, told The Times: "To criticise that disclosure process while using it yourself appears hypocritical. Any reader of the committee's report would want to know that someone involved in preparing it had used [the process] themselves. It would seem there are questions to answer here."

Philip Davies, the Conservative candidate for Shipley, added: "It is the sheer hypocrisy that we have become used to from Labour politicians."

Ms Hodge, Labour's candidate for Barking and Dagenham in east London, denied she had a "role in setting it [LSF] up or running it, and was not a beneficiary of the foundation until 2011, when the shares were brought onshore via the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, ending the structure my relatives created. At that point I then inherited additional UK shares in Stemcor. I was of course aware of this transfer and the increase in my shareholding.

"As a shareholder I have on a number of occasions sought and received assurances from the executive that the company always paid the appropriate tax. All I could do as a shareholder in a company not run by me, and over which I had no influence or control, was to ensure that any shares I held were above board and that I paid all relevant taxes in full. Every time I received any benefit from the company this happened."