The Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons on Wednesday, focused on the Tory Party Chairman and former Chancellor Nadim Zahawi. PM Rishi Sunak was under fire from Labour Leader Keir Starmer, who called him “hopelessly weak” for not firing Nadim Zahawi over tax avoidance scandal.

“Anybody watching would think it is fairly obvious that someone seeks to avoid tax can’t be in charge of tax,” stated Starmer in the House of Commons on Wednesday. “For some reason, the Prime Minister can’t bring himself to say that or acknowledge the question. Last week, the Prime Minister told this House that the Chair of the Tory Party addressed his tax affairs in full. And there was nothing to add. This week, after days of public pressure, the Prime Minister now says there are serious questions to answer. What changed?”

Sunak said that since then, more information has entered the public domain and that an investigation is underway to establish the facts.

Starmer wanted to know if Sunak agreed that “anyone avoiding taxes is not fit to be in charge of taxpayers money?”

Rishi Sunak had told MPs that at the time he appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the Conservative Party Chairman, he wasn’t told that Zahawi had had to pay a tax penalty.

Despite not being forthcoming about his tax affairs and the fact that he paid the penalty while he was Chancellor as part of a multi-million-pound settlement with HMRC, Zahawi maintains that he acted appropriately.

For now, Nadhim Zahawi remains in his job, but it is clear to everyone in the Conservative Party that the row over Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs won’t go away. Is Rishi Sunak, like Starmer suggests, too weak to act?

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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