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British Prime Minister Sunak dismisses Conservative Party chairman Zahawi over a tax disaster


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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked British Conservative Party leader Nadeem Zahawi from the government on Sunday after an inquiry into past tax affairs found a serious breach of ministerial law.

Sunak had ordered an independent consultant to investigate questions about the tax affairs of Zahawi, who was finance minister for a brief period during Britain’s period of political turmoil last year.

Al-Zahawi said that the British tax authorities ruled that he had been “careless” in his statements but that he had not committed a willful error in paying less tax.

Sunak said in a letter to Al-Zahawi: “After completing the investigation of the independent consultant – who briefed us on his findings – it is clear that there was a serious violation of the ministerial law.”

“In consequence, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government.”

Independent counsel Laurie Magnus found Zahawi was misleading when he said reports last July about his tax affairs were “clear distortions”.

Al-Zahawi did not correct the record until last week, when he said he had reached a settlement with the authorities.

“I consider this delay in correcting an incorrect public statement to be inconsistent with the requirements of openness,” Magnus said in a letter to Sunak.

He added that Al-Zahawi showed “insufficient concern” for the requirement that he “be honest, open and an exemplary leader through his behaviour”.

“Mr. Zahawi’s conduct as a minister fell short of the high standards that you, as Prime Minister, would rightly expect from those who serve in your government,” he said.

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