Nadhim Zahawi Resigns from Parliament Amid £5 Million Tax Settlement Controversy

Former UK Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi announces his resignation from Parliament at the next general election after confirming a £5 million tax settlement with HMRC. Zahawi's tax scandal led to his dismissal as Tory Party chairman in January 2023 following an ethics inquiry.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Nadhim Zahawi Resigns from Parliament Amid £5 Million Tax Settlement Controversy

Nadhim Zahawi Resigns from Parliament Amid £5 Million Tax Settlement Controversy

Former UK Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has announced his resignation from Parliament at the next general election, following his confirmation of a £5 million tax settlement with HMRC. The settlement, which included a penalty of over £1 million, was related to an investigation into the allocation of shares in YouGov, a polling company Zahawi founded before becoming an MP.

Why this matters: The resignation of a high-ranking government official due to a tax scandal highlights concerns about accountability and transparency within the UK government. This incident may also lead to further scrutiny of politicians' financial dealings and potential conflicts of interest.

Zahawi expressed regret for not being more explicit in his ministerial declaration regarding the tax settlement. "I should have been much clearer in my declarations as a minister that I was under investigation by HMRC and had reached a settlement with HMRC for a non-deliberate and careless offence, but nevertheless a misdemeanour," said Zahawi. HMRC determined the error to be non-deliberate and classified it as a "careless mistake."

The controversy surrounding Zahawi's taxes led to his dismissal as Tory Party chairman in January 2023, following an ethics inquiry initiated by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The inquiry found that Zahawi had not adequately disclosed his tax affairs being investigated by HMRC and concluded that there had been a serious breach of the ministerial code.

Zahawi served as vaccines minister during the pandemic, overseeing the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine programme. He also held positions as education secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, serving in the latter role for two months between July and September 2022.

In his resignation letter, Zahawi acknowledged his mistakes while highlighting his successes. "My mistakes have been mine, and my successes have come from working with, and leading, amazing people," he wrote. Zahawi will step down as MP for Stratford-on-Avon at the next general election, becoming the 65th Conservative MP to announce their exit from Parliament.

Key Takeaways

  • Nadhim Zahawi resigns as UK MP due to £5m tax settlement with HMRC.
  • Settlement includes £1m penalty for "careless mistake" in allocating YouGov shares.
  • Zahawi apologizes for not disclosing tax investigation in ministerial declaration.
  • Resignation follows dismissal as Tory Party chairman and ethics inquiry.
  • Zahawi will step down as MP for Stratford-on-Avon at the next general election.