Revealed: Oxford Street sweet shops drop by a third after raids

The number of US-style sweet and souvenir shops blighting Oxford Street has dropped by nearly a third, according to Westminster Council.

The local authority has accused some of the businesses of fleecing the taxpayer with £8m of tax evasion and of “lowering the tone” of the capital’s most famous shopping street.

Three sweet shops have been wound up for non-payment of rates in recent weeks, officials said, while two companies have coughed up £250,000 in business rates arrears to avoid court action.