UK PM Rishi Sunak sacks Conservative Party Chairman Zahawi over tax penalty row
The Birtish Prime Minister also said that Zahawi should be "extremely proud" of his "wide-ranging achievements in government over the last five years", particularly crediting his "successful oversight of the Covid-19 vaccine procurement and deployment programme".
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday (January 29) sacked Conservative Party chairman and Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi, who had breached the Ministerial Code.
Nadhim Zahawi held no portfolio as the chief of the governing Tory party and faced pressure in recent days to quit over questions about his finances after it emerged that he had agreed a penalty settlement with His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department.
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The Britain Prime Minister had ordered an independent investigation into the Iraqi-born former Chancellor's tax affairs after growing Opposition demands fto sack Zahawi.
Sir Laurie Magnus, his independent ethics adviser, submitted his assessment on whether the HMRC settlement amounted to a breach of the ministerial code.
In his letter to Zahawi, PM Sunak said, "When I became Prime Minister last year, I pledged that the government I lead would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level."
"Following the completion of the independent adviser's investigation – the findings of which he has shared with us both – 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," he said.
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The Birtish Prime Minister further said that Zahawi should be "extremely proud" of his "wide-ranging achievements in government over the last five years", particularly crediting his "successful oversight of the Covid-19 vaccine procurement and deployment programme".
In the correspondence to Sunak, Magnus said his overall judgement was that "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".
Earlier this week, Zahawi said he welcomed the investigation and looked forward to "explaining the facts of this issue" to Magnus – the UK Prime Minister's Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests.