Rishi Sunak fires Nadhim Zahawi for ‘clear’ violation of ministerial code

Nadhim Zahawi will no longer be part of Rishi Sunak’s cabinet (Image: PA)

Rishi Sunak has dismissed Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative Party leader amid multi-million dollar tax dispute

The Prime Minister today told his colleague: “It is clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial Code.”

The British leader justified his decision by saying that he had “promised that the government I lead will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at all levels”.

Mr Zahawi paid a multimillion-pound severance package – estimated to be around £5million – to HMRC when he was Chancellor and responsible for UK tax policy last year.

He insisted he “did the right thing to do” and that his “mistake” in relation to shares in polling firm He co-founded YouGov was “negligent and not intentional.”

But Mr Sunak ordered his ethics adviser to investigate the matter as Mr Zahawi allegedly tried to avoid taxes.

Despite the circumstances of Mr Zahawi’s departure, the prime minister has praised him for his years of service in government.

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In a letter to Mr Zahawi, he said: “Having completed the independent adviser’s inquiry – the findings of which he has shared with both of us – it is clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial Code.

“As a result, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government.

“If you go you should be very proud of your far-reaching achievements in government over the past five years.

“In particular your successful oversight of the Covid-19 vaccine procurement and delivery programme, which has ensured that the UK is at the forefront of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Pressure on the cabinet minister to step down had been mounting – with Labor leader Keir Starmer calling Mr Sunak “hopelessly weak” for not sacking him sooner.

Mr Zahawi previously released a statement saying questions about his tax affairs were raised during his appointment as chancellor.

“After discussions with HMRC, they agreed that my father was entitled to founding shares in YouGov, although they disagreed on the exact allocation,” he said.

“They concluded that this was a ‘negligent and not intentional’ error.

“So that I could focus on my life as a civil servant, I decided to settle the matter and pay what they felt was due, which was the right thing to do.”

Boris Johnson appointed Mr Zahawi as Chancellor following Mr Sunak’s surprise resignation last summer.

He would only have the job for 63 days after Mr Johnson’s government eventually collapsed, making him the third-shortest Chancellor of all time.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/29/rishi-sunak-sacks-nadhim-zahawi-for-clear-breach-of-ministerial-code-18149706/ Rishi Sunak fires Nadhim Zahawi for 'clear' violation of ministerial code

Justin Scacco

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