Sunak sacks Zahawi: he wouldn’t go so he had to be pushed

Last Updated: January 29, 2023By Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Out: Nadhim Zahawi.

This is probably the least interesting political story of the weekend because we all knew it was coming.

Even though Rishi Sunak is a weak prime minister – he has to maintain support from all the different factions of the Conservative Party and that means he has to appease them – Nadhim Zahawi had put himself in an untenable position.

That’s what the ethics advisor, Sir Laurie Magnus, found anyway:

The PM said Sir Laurie Magnus’s inquiry made clear there had been a “serious breach of the ministerial code”.

Rishi Sunak asked for the probe after Mr Zahawi admitted paying a settlement to HMRC, including a penalty.

Sir Laurie said the MP had missed many chances to be open about his tax.

In his report for Mr Sunak, he wrote: “Mr Zahawi’s conduct as a minister has fallen below the high standards that, as prime minister, you rightly expect from those who serve in your government.”

Sir Laurie cited Mr Zahawi’s failures to update his register of interests until more than a year after HMRC started looking into his taxes.

When Mr Zahawi reached a settlement with the taxman in August 2022, this too should have been declared, Sir Laurie wrote.

After receiving the findings, Mr Sunak wrote to Mr Zahawi to say he had decided to remove him from government.

Mr Zahawi thanked the prime minister and said he took pride in his role in the vaccine rollout and the Queen’s funeral – but did not offer an apology or mention his tax affairs.

In fact, Zahawi took the opportunity to attack the media, in his letter to Sunak.

Here’s a TV report on this story:

Commentators are saying it is impossible to envision a circumstance in which Zahawi will return to frontline politics.

Good riddance.

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  1. Hecuba January 30, 2023 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    And another rotten corrupt fascist tory is sacked so all that remains now is to get rid of all the corrupt and mendacious fascist tories who are still clinging on to power!

  2. Martin Odoni February 1, 2023 at 10:29 am - Reply

    We know how it works though don’t we? He’ll be back as soon as the furore calms down, just as it was with Priti Patel. The rules must be changed so any Minister caught with their hands in the till must be permanently barred from returning to the Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet.

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