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Rishi Sunak continues to resist pressure to remove Nadhim Zahawi from the cabinet, even though he admits it would be easier to remove ministers.
In a prime ministerial question on Wednesday, Sir Kiel Sturmer accused the prime minister of being “too weak” to act, but the minister said Mr Zahawi could still be sacked, another Conservative MP said. suggested that he should resign.
Mr Sunak suggested that it would have been easier to sack the Conservative Chairman when it first emerged that he had paid a penalty for late taxation to HMRC, but instead he It said it was ensuring “due process” by referring the dispute to independent advisers. .
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons: “Of course it is politically expedient for me to say that this matter must be resolved by Wednesday noon, but I believe in proper due process. ”
Snak again claimed that Zahawi was not informed of his tax issues when he was appointed to the Cabinet in October.
“Following the normal appointment process, no issues were raised when he was appointed to his current position. We commented on the issue last week, so more information has come to light,” he said. rice field. “Therefore, I have asked independent counsel to look into this matter.”
The Labor leader said: “Failure to fire him when the whole country knew what was going on shows how hopelessly weak he is. It is the prime minister who has
Trade Minister Andrew Bowie has claimed that if Mr Zahawy is found to have violated the ministerial code of conduct, he will be fired.
He told the BBC: “If this report finds him guilty of any fouls, the Prime Minister will of course dismiss him, but let the process take place naturally and put the facts into practice. We need to establish.”
Amber Valley Tory MP Nigel Mills warns the investigation may not be over, and if Mr Zahawi wants to keep his job, he should voluntarily provide all his tax details. claimed.
he said: Clarify what the circumstances were that caused the significant penalty. If it can be explained, we can all move on. If he can’t do that, he will obviously not be able to maintain his position.”
Conservative MP Lord Hayward told Sky News:
Meanwhile, after a spokesman for the prime minister initially failed to answer questions, the prime minister was forced to deny that he had paid fines on his own taxes like Mr Zahawi did.
The Conservative chairman paid £5m in taxes last year, including late payment fines believed to be worth more than £1m after a dispute over a stake in the pollster YouGov, which he co-founded. .
When asked if Sunak had faced similar punishment before, a spokesman for the prime minister said: An individual’s tax is confidential, regardless of who it is. ”
No 10 later had to clarify that Mr. Sunak faced no such charges. A spokesman said: “The prime minister has never paid his HMRC a fine.”
Sunak has repeatedly promised to make his tax returns public, but has not said how many details he will share or how many years’ worth of returns will be in the public domain.
It was revealed last year that his wife Akshatta Murthy could pay less UK tax by claiming to be a non-resident, but since then I live in the UK.
Snak has tried to distance himself from Zahawi’s tax controversy and said the civil servant in charge of examining ministers raised no concerns prior to the appointment of the party chairman. Not sitting in the Cabinet as a minister.
No 10 said tax authorities can only share information about ongoing disputes and cannot give details of disputes that have already been resolved.