Posted Jan 29, 2023 11:54 amUpdated Jan 29, 2023 at 12:01
The dismissal of the chairman of the Conservative Party from Downing Street. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked minister without portfolio and Conservative Party leader Nadeem Zahawi on Sunday over tax disputes. “It is clear that there has been a serious breach of ministerial law,” the prime minister wrote in a letter published on Sunday, at the end of an independent investigation. Rishi Sunak continued, “Accordingly, I inform you of my decision to remove you from your position in Her Majesty’s Government.”
dismissing Nadim Al-Zahawi instead of asking him to resign, Rishi Sunak seeks to assert his authority It was he who, upon his arrival in Downing Street, had promised “integrity, professionalism and responsibility”.
Britain’s prime minister instructed his independent ethics adviser on Monday to investigate whether Zahawi, who sits in the cabinet, breached cabinet law in relation to a multimillion-pound settlement he had to pay to settle a dispute with tax authorities.
Nadim Zahawi had paid off his tax debt, along with fines, last year during his brief stint as finance minister in former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government. He then became, with Sunak’s arrival in Downing Street at the end of October, Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio in Government.
Ethics advisor Laurie Magnus concluded that Nadim Al Zahawi should have declared the tax investigation he was the subject of, and should have also updated his declaration of interests once his dispute with the tax authorities had been settled. Briefing him on the investigation, Al-Zahawi reiterated that he had done nothing wrong in this tax case, which is particularly embarrassing. In the context of the cost of living crisis Conservative government.
Al-Zahawi is also under pressure after he appointed – when he was Minister of Finance – the head of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Richard Sharpe. This former banker had, shortly before his appointment, been playing matchmaker to help Boris Johnson, then prime minister, secure a loan.
Sharp asked the BBC to investigate his appointment to determine if there was a possible conflict of interest, while Downing Street denied any “nepotism”.
After 13 years in power, the Conservatives have seen their reputation tarnished by conflict of interest issues in recent years, prompting accusations of corruption from the Labor opposition, which is leading in opinion polls.
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