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Last Updated:  Thursday, 6 March, 2003, 10:57 GMT
Sir Sean lays bare his tax details
Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean says his critics "get up my nose"
Sir Sean Connery has revealed he has paid almost 3.7m in tax to the British Treasury since 1997 while living in the Bahamas.

The 72-year-old actor disclosed details of his bills in an interview with a Scottish newspaper in an effort to silence his critics.

Politicians and some sections of the media have claimed that his supposed "tax exile" status undermined his staunch support for Scottish independence.

The former James Bond star also claimed he was denied a knighthood by Labour in 1997 because of his strong alliance with the Scottish National Party (SNP).

In an interview with The Herald newspaper, Sir Sean said that comments about his tax status had riled him.

He said: "I'm an easy target because of my political opinions.

"But I defy anyone in Scotland to find one detail where I knowingly ever did anything that was to the detriment of Scotland. It gets up my nose."

Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean was knighted in Edinburgh in 2000
Sir Sean said that between the financial years 1997/98 and 2002/03 he had paid 3,694,591 in UK tax.

He had also previously paid $4.5m (2.8m) in British taxes after working on the films First Night, Indiana Jones and The Russia House.

Sir Sean said he had been nominated for a knighthood by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport after the 1997 election.

But he claimed the move was "discouraged" by junior Scottish Office minister Sam Galbraith and eventually rejected by Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar.

Sir Sean had played a leading role in the referendum which created the first Scottish parliament in 300 years.

He told The Herald: "I had been put up for a knighthood by Michael Forsyth and Virginia Bottomley, and Galbraith and Dewar said 'no way'.

"Why? Because one had too much publicity associated with the nationalists."

Sir Sean added: "I supported the Yes-Yes vote, and it was a fantastic result, but I had already been blackballed from the knighthood."

Sir Sean said former Labour minister Peter Mandelson had called him in February 1998 and told him there had been a "misunderstanding".

He was eventually knighted by the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in July 2000.

Connery 'to aid SNP campaign'
27 Feb 03 |  Scotland

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