Life Peer Baroness Sharples has been named in the Panama Papers, a massive leak of confidential offshore bank details.

Lewes-educated Pamela Sharples is one of three UK politicians to be named in the files, part of 11 million documents leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Chichester-born Lord Ashcroft, whose offshore tax affairs have come under scrutiny in the past, has also been named, alongside former Tory MP Michael Mates.

According to the docments, Baroness Sharples became the sole shareholder of Nunswell Investments Limited, a company based in the Bahamas that she used to make investments.

By 2001, her son, David Richard Sharples, had joined her as shareholder and director of the company.

The elder Sharples did not deal with Mossack Fonseca directly; she managed her company through an employee of a British law firm who also was a director, along with an accountant from another firm.

Sharples used her official Parliamentary email address to communicate with them.

In late 2013, they discussed whether it made sense to defer a distribution from her Nunswell account, if she didn't need the funds, to postpone paying taxes on it.

The documents do not indicate whether Sharples followed through with that idea.

In response, the law firm handling Sharples' affairs said that she became a director of Nunswell in 2000 and that the company was registered in the United Kingdom in the same year and now pays taxes to the British government.

The law firm wrote that the House of Lords "has been notified of Baroness Sharples' oversight in registering her interest as a Director of Nunswell Investments Limited" and that she receives "no remuneration...nor any income or capital from that company."

Her son is a director and is a shareholder of the company on behalf of a trust, "not on a personal basis."

There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts.

Conservative politician Pamela Sharples was elevated to the peerage after the assassination of her husband, Sir Richard Sharples, former Governor of Bermuda.

She was educated at Southover Manor School in Lewes, East Sussex.

She married the then Major Sharples in 1946 and she accompanied him to Bermuda in 1972 when he was appointed Governor.

Sir Richard was shot on 10 March 1973 at the Governor's mansion in Pembroke, Bermuda by Erskine Burrows along with his aide-de-camp and his Great Dane.

The family left Bermuda and did not return for many years, although they did later return and purchase a house.

Lady Sharples was created a life peer in 1973 as Baroness Sharples, of Chawton in the County of Hampshire.

In 2014, she told The Daily Mail that she was forced to sell the family home to pay death duties when it was ruled that her husband was not killed in the line of duty.