UK Conservative party chairman fired after inquiry into tax affairs

FILE - Nadhim Zahawi, Britain's Minister without Portfolio leaves after attending a cabinet meeting in Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.
FILE - Nadhim Zahawi, Britain's Minister without Portfolio leaves after attending a cabinet meeting in Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. Copyright AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Arquivo
By Euronews with AP
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Pressure had been building on Nadhim Zahawi amid allegations he settled a multimillion-euro unpaid tax bill while he was in charge of the UK Treasury.

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired the chairman of his ruling Conservative Party on Sunday over a “serious breach” of the ministerial code.

Pressure had been building on Nadhim Zahawi amid allegations he settled a multimillion-euro unpaid tax bill while in charge of the country’s Treasury.

In a letter to Zahawi, Sunak wrote he had been forced to act after promising at the start of his tenure that his government “would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.”

Zahawi, the founder of the polling website YouGov, had acknowledged a dispute with tax authorities, but argued his error was “careless and not deliberate.”

The British media reported the settlement came to €5.7 million.

In his letter, Mr Zahawi said he was “concerned” about the conduct of the media during his tenure

Zahawi headed the UK Treasury from July to September 2022 in the final months of Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister. Sunak said the decision had come at the end of an investigation into the party chairman’s financial dealings by the government’s independent standards adviser.

The report by Laurie Magnus found Zahawi had shown “insufficient regard” for the ministerial code and the required standards “to be honest, open and an exemplary leader through his own behaviour” in public life.

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