UK Tory Party Speaker Nadim Zahawy Sacked For ‘Serious Breach’ Of Ministerial Statute

Conservative Party Chairman Nadim Zahawi. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been sacked after an ethics investigation into his tax practices found “serious violations” of ministerial orders.

In a letter to Zahawi, Sunak said the investigation “cleared that there had been a serious violation of the ministerial order.”

“Henceforth, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government.”

“When I became Prime Minister last year, I promised that the government I lead would demonstrate integrity, professionalism and accountability at all levels,” he added.

Epoch Times photo
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the prime minister’s question before the House of Commons in London on January 25, 2023. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

He paid tribute to Zahawi’s contributions to the government, including his role as vaccine minister during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As you leave, you should be very proud of your wide-ranging achievements in government over the past five years.

“In particular, our successful oversight of the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and deployment program has put the UK at the forefront of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

In a letter to the prime minister after his dismissal, Mr Zahawi did not explicitly mention the results of his own tax ethics investigation, instead expressing concern about “behavior from some of the Fourth Estates in recent weeks”. said it does. References to the media.

he said: “After being blessed with a loving family, it has been the privilege of my life to serve in successive governments and make a tangible difference in the country I love.”

He added that Sunak “can vouch for support from the back bench for years to come.”

‘Major failure’

The controversy over Zahawi centered on a tax bill over the sale of a stake in YouGov, a polling firm he founded, worth an estimated £27m ($33m), registered offshore in Gibraltar and It was owned by a linked company, Balshore Investments. To Zahawi’s family.

Sunak ordered an investigation on Jan. 23 to assess whether Zahawi violated the ministerial order after the opposition called for Zahawi to resign after paying a fine to HM Revenue and Customs to settle the dispute. I asked the Ethics Counsel Sir Laurie Magnus to do so.

Magnus’ four-page report, dated January 29, said that certain “omissions” by Zahawi fell short of standards set by ministerial orders.

Magnus wrote in the report: Mr. Zahawi did not meet the requirements to declare interests that he considered to give rise to a conflict, despite the Minister’s declaration of interests form, which contained specific prompts regarding tax and HMRC investigations and disputes. . “

Magnus also told Sunak: This includes Cabinet Office officials who support the process. Without knowing that information, the Cabinet Office was in no position to inform the appointed prime minister. “

“Taken together, we believe these omissions constitute a serious failure to meet the standards set out in the ministerial order.”

“Mr Zahawi, who has the high privilege of being a Royal Minister, I honestly do not think he has shown due consideration to the requirements under the General Principles of the Ministerial Decree and the Seven Principles of Public Life in particular. , open and an exemplary leader through his own actions,” he concluded.

“Party first, country second”

The main opposition Labor Party said the prime minister should have sacked Mr Zahawi “a long time ago”.

Labor Shadow Secretary of Education Bridget Phillipson said: Rather than governing in the national interest, the Tories govern in their own interest, with the prime minister trying to control the members of parliament.

“It is very important that we now have an answer as to what Rishi Sunak knew and when he knew it. , all papers must be reviewed.”

However, government level-up officer Michael Gove said it was important for Snak to investigate all the facts before making any judgments about Zahawi’s position.

“As a general rule, when allegations are brought, we believe it is important to investigate them promptly, but we should not make hasty decisions before that investigation has taken place.

“Also, the particular question of personal tax matters is one that calls for cool forensic analysis in a situation like this, and Lord Raleigh has provided that.”

PA Media contributed to this report.