UK Prime Minister Fires Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi Over Tax Scandal
UK Prime Minister fires Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi over tax scandal after many days of criticism regarding his personal tax arrangements. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, capitulated to public pressure on Sunday by dismissing Nadhim Zahawi as chairman of the Conservative Party for a "serious breach" of the Ministerial Code.
Following allegations that Zahawi had paid a penalty as part of a purported £4.8 million ($5.96 million) settlement with tax officials, Sunak issued an order to his ethics adviser last week to conduct an investigation into Zahawi's actions. It was stated that Zahawi did not notify the relevant tax authorities about the disagreement.
In July of the previous year, the position of chancellor of the exchequer, often known as the finance minister, was given to Zahawi by the former prime minister Boris Johnson. He continued to serve in the Cabinet under Johnson's replacement, Liz Truss, as well as under Sunak, who succeeded Truss and made him the party chairman.
After the conclusion of the investigation, Sunak stated in a letter to Zahawi that:
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.
- UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/uk-prime-minister-fires-conservative-party-chairman-nadhim-zahawi-over-tax-scandal/ by Daisy-Mae Schmitt on 2023-01-30T02:22:12.090Z
The Ministerial Code in the UK lays out the standards of behavior that are expected of ministers as well as the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities.
Britons, many of whom are struggling to survive in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, were surprised when they learned that Zahawi had reached a multi-million-pound settlement with tax officials.
The Labour Party, which is in the opposition, stated that Sunak, who came into office promising "integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level," should have fired Zahawi when the claims were first reported this month, rather than trying to buy time by launching an investigation.
UK PM Sunak fires Conservative Party chairman after tax probe
Bridget Phillipson, a senior member of Labour's parliamentary party, told Sky News that the incident has shown Sunak to be a "weak" leader. She stated that there is a pervasive air of sleaze surrounding the Conservative party.
The tax arrangements that Sunak's wife Akshata Murty, who is the daughter of an Indian millionaire, has been involved in have also brought scrutiny upon Sunak himself. In 2012, Sunak and Murty were included in the Sunday Times Rich List, which ranks the 250 wealthiest persons in the United Kingdom. According to the publication, the couple's combined wealth is approximately £730 million ($826 million).
It was revealed a year ago that Murty had had "non-domicile" status in the UK, which meant that she could lawfully avoid paying UK taxes on her international earnings from her family's Infosys business group.
The previous week, he offered his apologies for obtaining a citation from the police for the second time in a row for driving without wearing a seatbelt. During the time that Sunak served as chancellor, both he and Johnson were issued fines by the police for attending lockdown-breaking parties that were conducted on UK government property.
Zahawi sent a letter of response to his dismissal, which was released on Sunday. In the letter, he stated that serving in consecutive UK governments had been the greatest honor of his life. He did not make any direct references to the conclusions of the ethics investigation that was conducted into his financial dealings.
According to the statement, he said:
I arrived in this country fleeing persecution and speaking no English. Here, I built a successful business and served in some of the highest offices in government. I believe that in no other country on earth would my story be possible.
- Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi
Zahawi was born in Iraq to Kurdish parents, and he immigrated to the United Kingdom as a child after his family was forced to flee the government of Saddam Hussein. He is rumored to be one of the wealthiest parliamentarians serving in the House of Commons and was instrumental in the establishment of the research firm YouGov.