Nadhim Zahawi has been sacked from Government by the Prime Minister after he was found to have committed a ‘serious breach’ of ministerial rules.
The Tory chairman’s exit comes as a result of a furious row over his tax affairs after he was revealed to have paid a penalty to HMRC as part of a tax bill.
The sum handed over to the tax authorities by Mr Zahawi is reported to be at least £4.8million, including a £1.1million penalty.
According to MailOnline, the revelation Mr Zahawi paid a penalty to HMRC forced Rishi Sunak – who is claimed to be ‘livid’ at the controversy – to this week order an investigation by his ethics adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus.
Sir Laurie has now ruled against Mr Zahawi for failing to properly disclose the tax dispute when he was appointed to three different Government roles this year.
In full – the PM’s letter to Nadhim Zahawi
When I became Prime Minister last year, I pledged that the Government I lead would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.
That is why, following new information which came to light in recent days regarding your personal financial arrangements and declarations, I asked Sir Laurie Magnus, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, to fully investigate this matter. You agreed and undertook to co-operate fully with the inquiry.
Following the completion of the independent adviser’s investigation – the findings of which he has shared with us both – it is clear that there has been a serious breach of the ministerial code. As a result, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government.
As you leave, you should be extremely proud of your wide-ranging achievements in Government over the last five years. In particular, your successful oversight of the Covid-19 vaccine procurement and deployment programme which ensured the United Kingdom was at the forefront of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Your role was critical to ensuring our country came through this crisis and saved many lives. And as the Conservative Party Chairman, you have undertaken significant restructuring to Conservative Campaign Headquarters and readied us for important work in the coming months.
It is also with pride that I, and previous prime ministers, have been able to draw upon the services of a Kurdish-born Iraqi refugee at the highest levels of the UK Government. That is something which people up and down this country have rightly valued.
I know I will be able to count on your support from the backbenches as you continue to passionately and determinedly serve your constituents of Stratford-on-Avon and represent the many issues and campaigns you are dedicated to. Thank you for your service to this and previous governments.
Sir Laurie also blasted the departing Cabinet minister for failing to reverse a previous public denial that he was being probed by HMRC.
Sir Laurie’s findings left Mr Sunak with little choice but to fire Mr Zahawi from his Cabinet.
After being sacked, Mr Zahawi today pledged his support to Mr Sunak from the back benches of the House of Commons.
But he also lashed out at media coverage of his tax scandal and offered an apology to his family for ‘the toll this has taken on them’.
The dramatic culmination to the row over Mr Zahawi will come as a huge blow to the PM, who is due to mark his first 100 days in No10 this week.
Mr Sunak is also continuing to face questions over the fate of Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who is subject to an ongoing investigation into ‘bullying’ claims.
The PM pledged to lead a Government with ‘integrity, professionalism and acco