Rishi Sunak’s brutal letter sacking Nadhim Zahawi in full

The Prime Minister has fired Conservative chair Nadhim Zahawi over a breach of the ministerial code. The Government announced today that Rishi Sunak had sacked Mr Zahawi following the controversy surrounding his tax affairs. A letter from Mr Sunak communicating his decision was released this morning, explaining the decision came following a “serious breach” of Government rules.

In the letter, the Prime Minister said following a brief investigation, it was “clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial Code”.

He wrote: “Dear Nadhim. When I became Prime Minister last year, I pledged that the Government I lead would have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.

“That is why, following new information which came to light in recent days regarding your personal financial arrangements and declarations, I asked Sir Laurie Magnus, the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, to fully investigate this matter. You agreed and undertook to cooperate fully with the inquiry.

“Following the completion of the Independent Adviser’s investigation – the findings of which he has shared with us both – it is clear that there has been a serious breach of the Ministerial Code.

“As a result, I have informed you of my decision to remove you from your position in His Majesty’s Government.

“As you leave, you should be extremely proud of your wide-ranging achievements in government over the last five years.

“In particular, your successful oversight of the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and deployment program which ensured the United Kingdom was at the forefront of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

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“Your role was critical to ensuring our country came through this crisis and saved many lives.

“And as the Conservative Party Chairman, you have undertaken significant restructuring to Conservative Campaign Headquarters and readied us for important work in the coming months.

“It is also with pride that I, and previous Prime Ministers, have been able to draw upon the services of a Kurdish-born Iraqi refugee at the highest levels of the UK Government.

“That is something which people up and down this country have rightly valued.

“I know I will be able to count on your support from the backbenches as you continue to passionately and determinedly serve your constituents of Stratford-on-Avon and represent the many issues and campaigns you are dedicated to.

“Thank you for your service to this and previous Governments.

“Yours sincerely, Rishi Sunak.”

The sacking follows more than a week of pressure on the Prime Minister after reports that Mr Zahawi had paid millions in a penalty settlement with HMRC after the department opened an investigation into his tax affairs.

Mr Sunak had commissioned Sir Laurie Magnus, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, to investigate whether the Tory chair had broken the ministerial code.

Sir Laurie handed in his report on January 29, writing that, “by failing to declare HMRC’s ongoing investigation before July 2022” Mr Zahawi “failed to meet the requirement to declare any interests which might be thought to give rise to a conflict”.

He added: “I also conclude that, in the appointments process for the governments formed in September 2022 and October 2022, Mr Zahawi failed to disclose relevant information – in this case the nature of the investigation and its outcome in a penalty – at the time of his appointment, including to Cabinet Office officials who support that process.”


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