Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi has come under fire over his tax affairs after he was accused of paying a penalty to resolve a dispute with HMRC over unpaid tax. Now, pressure is growing for Mr Zahawi to share details of his finances and step down – but should he resign? Vote in our poll.
It was reported by The Guardian that Mr Zahawi paid back the tax he owed in addition to a 30 percent penalty, with the total settlement said to amount to £4.8million. Mr Zahawi has not confirmed how much his penalty amounted to, nor the total value of the final settlement with HMRC.
Mr Zahawi first described his tax affairs as “smears” last summer but released a statement on Saturday to “address some of the confusion about my finances”. He said he resolved the “careless and not deliberate” error between his appointment as Chancellor in July and party chair in October.
Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said Prime Minister Rishi Suank should “come clean on what he knew and when about Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs and the concerns raised with No 10”. She added that Mr Zahawi’s position was untenable: “It’s time for Rishi Sunak to put his money where his mouth is and dismiss Nadhim Zahawi from his Cabinet.”
However, former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday that “the sooner you can get the absolute facts out the better”, rather than it “coming out in phases”. He advised Mr Zahawi to “get it all out now whatever you have to do and clear it up” but added he did not believe his actions were “deceitful”.
A source close to the former chancellor told the PA news agency Mr Zahawi will not “absolutely” not be quitting. Mr Sunak has asked his independent ethics adviser to investigate Mr Zahawi, saying there are “questions that need answering”
A spokesman for Mr Zahawi previously said his taxes are “properly declared and paid in the UK” and that he “has never had to instruct any lawyers to deal with HMRC on his behalf”.
So what do YOU think? Should Mr Zahawi resign over tax row? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.