The disclosures regarding Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs have been brought to light, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has asked his independent ethics adviser to look into them. There are “questions that need answering,” according to Mr. Sunak, regarding the case.
Following revelations that Mr. Zahawi, the chairman of the Tory party, paid a penalty to HMRC for previously unpaid tax while serving as chancellor as part of a multi-million-dollar dispute, calls for his resignation have been made.
Prime Minister open investigation
Since the news of this investigation broke, the hashtag #Zahawi has been trending on twitter with over 140 thousand retweets, continuing a trend that began a few days prior when the news of Zahawi’s tax evasion was reported. The public has criticised the prime minister for wasting time and failing to act because, in their eyes, Zahawi’s actions of threatening journalists with publication of the news clearly show that he is guilty.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner spoke out about the issue in Parliament and then tweeted about it. She questioned “ why does the Prime Minster need an ethics advisor to tell him Nadhim Zahawis conduct is unacceptable ?”. Furthermore , she added that “ Rishi Sunaks vote of full confidence in his Party Chair shows his weak leadership and appalling judgement”.
Labour member of parliament Jess Philips also commented on the issue and stated that by Sunak requesting an investigation into Zahawis tax row “ he is wasting political capital and everyday making himself look weaker as Prime Minster”.
Zahawi’s position is “untenable,” according to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, and he needs to be fired immediately.
Labour member of parliament Simon Lightwood was also in agreement with his fellow Labour peers that Zahawi “must be dismissed from cabinet immediately, as its clearly that his story just doesn’t add up!”.
Author Emma Kennedy stated that she would be more “inclined to believe Zahawi if had not instructed lawyers to threaten journalists with defamation. Therefore, he clearly knew what he was doing, and he has to go !”.
Members of the public all seem to agree that Zahawi must go as “ he did not make a mistake. If he had made a mistake, he would have dealt with it the first time it came up. However, he chose to threaten people instead” which evidently demonstrates his guilt.
Author Sam Bright tweeted that “ a senior minster practicing lawfare is seriously unacceptable, as one of the worst things about Zahawis scandal is that he threatened legal action against the first journalists to raise their entirely legitimate questions about his tax affairs”.