Rishi Sunak has ordered his independent ethics adviser to launch a probe, after it emerged that Nadhim Zahawi paid a penalty to HMRC over unpaid tax while he was chancellor. He has described the error as “careless and not deliberate”. Meanwhile, Labour is calling on Rishi Sunak to “come clean” about his tax affairs, saying his position at Tory Party Chairman is “untenable”.
Tory party chairman Nadhim Zahawi he is “confident” he “acted properly throughout”, welcoming an investigation into his tax affairs.
He said he looks forward to “explaining the facts of this issue” to Sir Laurie Magnus, the Prime Minister’s independent adviser on ministerial interests.
Mr Zahawi added: “In order to ensure the independence of this process, you will understand that it would be inappropriate to discuss this issue any further, as I continue my duties as chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party.”
The Prime Minister said the party chairman will “fully co-operate” with the investigation.
According to the Guardian, the former Chancellor paid back tax he had owed as well as a 30 percent penalty, with a total settlement amounting to £4.8m.
The tax was related to a shareholding in YouGov, the polling company he co-founded in 2000 before he became an MP.
In a statement following the announcement of the investigation into Mr Zahawi, the Prime Minister said: “Integrity and accountability is really important to me, including in this case, there are questions that need answering and that is why I have asked our independent advisor to get to the bottom of everything – to investigate the matter fully and establish all the facts and provide advice to me on Nadim Zahawi’s compliance with the Ministerial Code.
“I am pleased Nadim Zahawi has agreed to that approach and has agreed to fully co-operate with that investigation.”
Last Wednesday, Mr Sunak said Tory Party Chairman has “already addressed the matter in full and there is nothing more that I can add”.
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