Nadhim Zahawi news – live: Sunak risks ‘looking indecisive’ as tax inquiry ‘drags on’, Tories warn


Liam James,Andy Gregory and Matt Mathers

Tue, 24 January 2023 at 5:33 pm GMT

Rishi Sunak is in danger of “looking indecisive” as the ethics inquiry into Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs “drags on”, Conservative MPs have told The Independent – as No 10 revealed no deadline had been set for its conclusion.

Former Tory leader Lord Hague had urged Mr Sunak to ensure a “very quick” resolution to the probe into whether there had been any breaches of the ministerial code, as Downing Street said only that it would be conducted “swiftly” and would be “thorough”.

No 10 declined to say whether Mr Sunak was confident that the under-fire cabinet minister had always told the truth about his tax affairs, as he faced calls to resign over the news that he came to a multimillion pound settlement with HMRC over unpaid tax – following a “careless” error.

One Tory ex-minister told The Independent it was a matter of “when not if” Mr Zahawi was made to step down, as another senior colleague said it was the “general view” of MPs in the Commons tea room that he should do so now to avoid further embarrassing the government, having become “such a distraction”.

Key Points

  • Ex-Tory leader Hague urges ‘very quick’ resolution to ethics inquiry …
  • … as No 10 reveals Sunak has not set a deadline
  • Downing Street refuses to say if Sunak confident Tory chair told truth
  • Nadhim Zahawi is ‘toast’, says former minister

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