Nadhim Zahawi fired as UK Conservative Party chairman over tax scandal


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak eased the pressure on Sunday by sacking Conservative Party leader Nadhim Zahawi, who faced criticism over his tax planning.

Sunak last week ordered his ethics adviser to investigate Zahawi who has already paid a fine as part of a £4.8 million ($5.96 million) settlement with tax authorities. It was alleged that Zahawi did not disclose his dispute with the tax authorities.

Zahawi was appointed chairman of the board of finance – the finance minister – by former prime minister Boris Johnson in July last year. He remained in Cabinet under Johnson, replacing Liz Truss and her successor, Sunak, who made him party chairman.

In a letter to Zahawi, Sunak said that, after the investigation completed its work, “it is clear that a serious violation of the Ministerial Order has been committed.”

“Therefore, I have informed you of my decision to dismiss you from your position in his administration.”

News of Zahawi’s multi-million pound settlement with the taxman has shocked Britons, many of whom are struggling to survive in the financial crisis.

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The opposition party said Sunak, who came into office promising “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level,” should have fired Zahawi when the allegations were first reported this month. instead of trying to buy time by starting an investigation.

Labor MP Bridget Phillipson told Sky News that the scandal exposed Sunak as a “weak” leader.

He said: “A bad stench hangs over the Conservative party.”

Sunak himself has also been investigated for the tax planning of his wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of an Indian billionaire. Last year, Sunak and Murty appeared in the Sunday Times Rich List of the UK’s 250 richest people – the newspaper estimated their net worth at £730 million ($826 million).

Last year, it emerged that Murty enjoyed “non-domiciled” status in the UK which meant he could legally avoid paying UK tax on his overseas income from the same business. Infosys his family.

Last week, he apologized for receiving his second police fine, for not wearing a seatbelt while driving. When he was prime minister Sunak was fined by the police and Johnson for attending a lockdown-breaking party held at a UK government park.

In a letter responding to his dismissal published on Sunday, Zahawi said it was the privilege of his life to serve in the next UK government. He did not clearly state the findings of the ethics investigation into his tax affairs.

“I came to this country fleeing persecution and did not speak English. Here, I ran a successful business and served in some of the highest government offices. I believe that there is no other country in the world where my story is possible,” the statement said.


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