The scandal is the latest in a string for Sunak’s Conservative Party, and despite promises that a steady hand is now in charge, the allegations “Tory Sleaze” And mismanagement continues to dog the government.
The dismissal of Zahavi, a popular party figure, comes after weeks of revelations about his tax affairs. When he was Chancellor of the Exchequer or Chancellor of the Exchequer, he has come under scrutiny for settling a multi-million dollar tax bill with fines – in other words, he paid fines to the tax authorities at the same time. He is their boss.
Zahavi was in charge of the country’s treasury from July to September, during the final months of Boris Johnson’s tenure as prime minister.
His Letter Sunak told Zahavi on Sunday that when he became prime minister late last year, at a particularly tumultuous time in British politics, he made the decision because he promised his government would have “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level”. When Chung became leader last year, he presented himself as the man who would move the party away from the scandals of his predecessors Liz Truss and Boris Johnson.
Sunak’s decision to fire its chairman came after it ordered Larry Magnus, an independent ethics consultant, to investigate Zahavi’s tax affairs. The tax bill in question sold shares in YouGov, the polling company founded by Zahavi.
In Counsel’s judgment Zahavi did not announce that his tax affairs were being investigated when Johnson made him finance minister. The four-page report, published on Sunday, also said Zahavi failed to disclose details when Sunak made him leader of the Conservative Party. The report says these deficiencies fail to meet the standards to which ministers must adhere.
Zahavi said the tax authority concluded the error was “careless and not intentional”, but insisted he believed he “acted correctly throughout”.
Sunak initially sided with Zahavi. Now opposition politicians have questioned what the prime minister knew before appointing Zahavi to a senior job in the party.
Labour’s shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “It is vital that we get answers now about what Rishi Sunak knew and when he knew it. We have to look at all the documents, not just the Prime Minister’s role.
William Booth contributed to this report.
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