Prime Minister-in-waiting Theresa May has warned that firms including Amazon and Google have a responsibility to pay their taxes ahead of her taking up the top job.

In a speech today, May, who is set to take over from David Cameron on Wednesday, said: “We…understand that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society. No individual or no business, however rich, has succeeded all on their own.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back. You have a debt to fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes.” 

Earlier, May said: “It’s not anti-business to suggest that big business needs to change.” 

The European Commission launched a probe into Amazon’s European corporate tax practices in 2014, including looking at an alleged tax agreement it had with Luxembourg. 

At the time, the online retailer said it had “received no special tax treatment from Luxembourg”.

Amazon announced last May it was to start booking its British sales through the UK, with resulting profits taxed by HMRC.