UK PM Rishi Sunak fires Party Chairman over tax affairs

The UK Prime Minister sacked Conservative Party chief Nadhim Zahawi after being found to have breached the Ministerial Code.

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On Sunday Nadhim Zahawi, chairman of the Conservative Party was sacked by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after being found to have been in serious breach of the Ministerial Code. 

The Iraqi-born, who was a minister without portfolio was facing immense pressure from the opposition over questions about his finances.

Sunak had ordered an independent investigation into the former Chancellor’s tax affairs. 

Zahawi is alleged to have settled a multimillion dollar tax bill while he was in charge of the country’s Treasury. 

According to the letter written by Sunak to Zahawi, he was forced to take this action after promising at the start of his tenure that his government “would have integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level.”

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Zahawi was the head of the country’s Treasury during former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s final months i.e., from July 2022 to September 2022. 

According to reports, the settlement came around to almost 5 million pounds, in other words, $6.2 million. 

The decision was carried out at the end of the investigation which was carried out by the government’s independent standards adviser. 

The report by Laurie Magnus said that Zahawi showed “insufficient regard” for the ministerial code.

The report also added that he didn’t regard the required standards “to be honest, open and an exemplary leader through his own behavior” in public life as well.

The founder of the polling website YouGov, Zahawi acknowledged a dispute with the tax authorities. However, he argued that his error was “careless and not deliberate.”

Reportedly, the probe was started in April 2021, however, Zahawi didn’t declare it even when he was appointed as the Chancellor of the Exchequer a year later. 

The report found that there should have been an understanding from the outset that the matter was serious. 

It was not reflected in Zahawi’s public statements until his confirmation on Jan 21 this year that a settlement had been reached, said the report. 

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During the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, he was the country’s vaccines minister followed by a nine month stint as the education minister.

He released a statement on Sunday where he said he was privileged to have served in successive governments.

He also added that the prime minister will still have his continued support. 

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