UK PM sacks Tory chairman over tax scandal
London, Jan 29 (EFE).- The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, has fired Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi for violating the ministerial code of conduct in his tax dealings.
In his letter sent to Zahawi published on Sunday, Sunak said that it was “clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial Code.”
Zahawi, who was part of Sunak’s cabinet, admitted earlier this month to paying a settlement to the British tax authorities (HMRC) after detecting what he described as a “careless and not deliberate” tax error.
“When I became Prime Minister last year, I pledged that the Government I lead would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level,” Sunak said, explaining that he had asked his ethics adviser Sir Laurie Magnus to investigate the issue.
“As a result, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government,” he added.
Sunak, however, stressed that Zahawi should be “proud” of his achievements in government over the past five years, including the Covid-19 vaccination program he was in charge of.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the Tory chairman agreed to settle a tax debt with the HMRC with a 30% surcharge and paid a total of 4.8 million pound sterling ($5.9m).
Zahawi, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) between July and September last year, explained the surcharge was related to the polling firm YouGov, which he founded back in 2000.
In the wake of the controversy, the Labour Party’s leader Angela Rayner called for Zahawi’s resignation.EFE