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Rishi Sunak has dismissed Nadhim Zahawi as chairman of the Conservative Party after an investigation found him guilty of a “serious breach” of ethics rules.
Sir Laurie Magnus, who was the prime minister’s independent adviser on the interests of the minister, concluded that the minister had repeatedly failed to be open and honest about tax matters.
Lord Raleigh has revealed that Mr Zahawi was first investigated by HMRC in April 2021 for his taxes.
However, the minister did not tell public officials about the talks with authorities at the time and publicly denied that an investigation was underway.
After he became Boris Johnson’s last prime minister last July and HMRC stepped up its investigation, Mr Zahawi informed officials of the investigation.
But he did not tell Whitehall officials, Liz Truss or Mr Sunak, that he had agreed to pay a £1million fine to settle a dispute over his taxes.
Lord Raleigh, in a four-page report addressed to Mr Zahawy, concluded that Mr Zahawy had not properly declared his financial interests and had issued an inaccurate public statement on the matter.
He told Sunak:
On Sunday morning, the Prime Minister wrote Mr Zahawi the following letter: Consequently, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government. ”
He praised his work as a minister, especially for overseeing the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine, adding: at the highest levels of British government. That’s what people above and below this country have appreciated. ”
The Labor Party accused Sunak of acting too late. The fact that Mr Zahawi paid his HMRC millions of dollars was first reported two weeks ago, and days later the £5 million payment was said to have been “careless and unintentional” by the minister. It was revealed that payment for the stated error was included.