By Le Figaro with AFP
Posted 2 hours ago, updated 59 minutes ago
A protester holds up a placard criticizing Nadhim Zahawi outside 10 Downing Street in London January 25, 2023. The leader of the Conservative Party was sacked by Rishi Sunak on Sunday. TOBY MELVILLE/Portal
In a published letter, the prime minister cited a “serious violation of the ministerial code” to support his decision.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sacked Minister without portfolio and Conservative Party leader Nadhim Zahawi for breaching the Cabinet Code over his tax disputes, Downing Street said on Sunday.
After an independent investigation, it was “clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial Code,” the Prime Minister wrote in a letter published by Downing Street. “Accordingly, I am informing you of my decision to remove you from your position in Her Majesty’s Government,” Rishi Sunak continued.
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By sacking Nadhim Zahawi rather than asking him to resign, Rishi Sunak is trying to assert his authority, which he promised “integrity, professionalism and responsibility” when he arrived at Downing Street. Britain’s Prime Minister on Monday commissioned his independent ethics adviser to investigate whether Zahawi, who sits in the cabinet, has breached the cabinet code in connection with the multi-million dollar settlement he was forced to pay to settle a dispute with tax authorities.
Guilty of neither declaring the tax investigation of which he was the subject nor updating his declaration of interests
Nadhim Zahawi settled his tax debts along with penalties last year during his short-lived tenure as Treasury Secretary in former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government. With the arrival of Rishi Sunak in Downing Street at the end of October, he then became leader of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio in the Government.
Ethics Advisor Laurie Magnus concluded that Nadhim Zahawi should have explained the tax investigation he was the subject of and updated his declaration of interests once his dispute with the tax authorities was resolved. After 13 years in power, the Conservatives have tarnished their reputation in recent years with cases of conflict of interest, fueling allegations of corruption from the Labor opposition, which leads the polls.