Nadhim Zahawi has been sacked as Conservative Party chairman by Rishi Sunak, after an ethics inquiry into the handling of his tax affairs found a “serious breach” of the Ministerial Code.
It comes after the Prime Minister ordered an investigation into Mr Zahawi by Sir Laurie Magnus, his independent adviser on ministers’ interests, following reports that the Tory chairman had paid a penalty as part of a dispute with HMRC.
In a letter to Mr Zahawi, Mr Sunak said that, following the investigation, which completed its work after only a few days, “it is clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial
“As a result, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government.”
Mr Sunak and his Government had faced questions for several days about the row, with growing pressure on Mr Zahawi to stand aside.
Commenting on the news, Robert Peston said Zahawi was “damned by the report into his tax affairs”.
“Of course Rishi Sunak has sacked him. He had no choice. There has rarely been such a comprehensive breach of the code of ministerial conduct. It will be very hard for Zahawi to come back from this.”
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