Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

Chris Mason: Zahawi sacking raises questions over Sunak's judgement

Chris Mason: Zahawi sacking raises questions over Sunak's judgement

Nadhim Zahawi's future in government had been looking increasingly precarious for days.

He is widely liked and respected by his colleagues: his life story of arriving in the UK as a child, not speaking English, rising to become a multi millionaire and a cabinet minister.

But what was increasingly striking is almost all the Conservative MPs and ministers I spoke to privately would say this, and then add a colossal "but."

They found his tax affairs, what they perceived (and the prime minister's ethics adviser has now concluded) to be his lack of openness and candour inexplicable, other worldly and an oxygen snatcher from everything else the government was trying to do.

As I reported the other day, there was a determination in government to get this sorted as quickly as possible, often tricky once something is in the hands of an independent adviser.

But the new independent adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, has acted quickly and decisively. His verdict is blunt, pithy, direct.

And his conclusions shed new light on the timeline of events.

We now know Mr Zahawi and the tax authority were first in touch in April 2021. This is months before he was appointed education secretary.

And well over a year before he was appointed chancellor and first shared with government colleagues that he was talking to His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

And we also know it was nearly a fortnight after he was appointed chancellor that he declared explicitly that he was in something of a run in with the tax authority, having received a letter from them which, it seems, changed in his own mind the magnitude of the tax authority's inquiries.

It should have been obvious to Mr Zahawi that it was serious much much earlier, Sir Laurie concludes, and he should have told people in government about it much much earlier.

Critics of the prime minister have said he has been insufficiently curious about Mr Zahawi's affairs, given what was publicly known or being discussed in the press.

Sir Laurie says the vetting checks did not disclose vital information to the prime minister because Mr Zahawi had not told them.

And so, Mr Zahawi is a goner.


His public response is laced with a defiance - it makes no reference to his breach of the ministerial code, but instead has a pop at journalists.

Privately he's been deeply angry at the tone of some of the media coverage, some of his allies feeling it had undertones of racism.

His critics say his decision to threaten some journalists with libel writs, when they were exposing information about him, was outrageous.

The prime minister is now looking for another party chairman.

Before Christmas he lost a minister, Gavin Williamson, amid accusations of bullying, which Sir Gavin said he "refuted".

And there is still an investigation going on into the conduct of Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who also denies allegations of bullying.

Downing Street argue the prime minister demonstrates integrity by following due process, ensuring allegations are properly investigated, rather than acting impulsively.

But there are those within government who believe Rishi Sunak was "too nice", as one put it to me over Mr Zahawi, and should have sacked him a week ago.

And then there is the bigger question about Mr Sunak's judgement - should he have appointed any of these ministers in the first place?


Watch: Michael Gove is asked why Nadhim Zahawi was given the post in the first place


Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
London's Iconic British Telecom Tower Sold To Become Hotel
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
BVI Freedom Song
Russia Claims UK Cultural Agency Spied for Ukraine
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
New video
Hello Dolly
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Yes He Can
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Unforgettable
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
The Lord's Prayer
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Siyahamba
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Ramblin' Rose
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Common, John Legend - Glory
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
BVI Freedom Song
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Hello Dolly
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Yes He Can
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Unforgettable
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
The Lord's Prayer
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Siyahamba
Media Giant Paramount Global, Which Owns CBS News, To Cut 800 Jobs
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×