“I inform you of my decision to remove you from your position in Her Majesty’s Government.” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sacked Minister without Portfolio and Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi over a breach of the Cabinet Code linked to his tax disputes, Downing Street announced on Sunday (January 29th). After an independent investigation, “it is clear that there has been a serious violation of the ministerial code”wrote the head of government in a letter (PDF in English) published by Downing Street.
The Prime Minister on Monday appointed an independent ethics adviser to investigate whether Nadhim Zahawi had breached the Ministerial Code in connection with the multimillion-pound settlement he had to pay to settle a dispute with the tax authorities. The latter had settled what he owed to the tax authorities, accompanied by penalties, last year, during a short-lived stint at the Ministry of Finance in the government of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He then became, with the arrival of Rishi Sunak in Downing Street at the end of October, chairman of the Conservative party and minister without portfolio in government. Ethics adviser Laurie Magnus concluded that Nadhim Zahawi should have declared the tax investigation he was the subject of and should also have updated his declaration of interests once his dispute with the tax authorities has been settled.