Rishi Sunak may have sacked Nadhim Zahawi over the weekend, but it’s not over yet for the PM.
Sunak fired the Conservative Party chairman early on Sunday morning, shortly after an ethics inquiry into Zahawi found that he had committed a “serious breach” of the ministerial code in the handling of his tax affairs.
His departure comes more than six months after The Independent first revealed details of an HMRC investigation into Mr Zahawi’s tax affairs.
The former chancellor – who is now facing calls to resign his seat as an MP – did not apologise for his handling of his tax affairs and lashed out at the media in his exit letter to the PM.
Sunak is now facing further questions from Labour. The party's deputy leader Angela Rayner and party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds have written to Sunak to ask him what he knew about the investigation into Zahawi’s tax affairs and when.
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However, there was a different question altogether being asked on social media.
Sunak sacked Zahawi on Sunday morning Getty images
Zahawi was sacked as Tory party chair over a “serious breach” of the ministerial code – and people are now relating it back to the appointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary in October.
Braverman was named as home secretary by Sunak just six days after being forced to resign from the post for breaching the ministerial code, amid the chaos of the final hours of the Liz Truss government last year.
People online are now asking how Sunak can sack Zahawi for breaking the code, while he was happy to appoint Braverman just days after she broke it last year.
\u201cSo, if Zahawi sacked for breaking ministerial code, why not Suella Braverman?\u201d— John Crace (@John Crace) 1674984110
\u201cBridget Phillipson: "Zahawi should have been sacked weeks ago... this speaks to Sunak's weakness... Braverman also broke the ministerial code & then was appointed Home Secretary.. this govt is focused on the Tory Party & not the interests of the public... "\n\n#bbclaurak #Ridge\u201d— Haggis_UK \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa (@Haggis_UK \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa) 1674986397
\u201cIf Zahawi is sacked for breaking the ministerial code why the hell is Braverman still in post.\u201d— Tracy Harrington (@Tracy Harrington) 1674984764
\u201cGenuine question\u2026\u2026.. Zahawi\u2019s breach of the Ministerial Code was deemed \u2018serious\u2019. Is there any other kind? #Braverman\u201d— Fred MacAulay (@Fred MacAulay) 1674985181
\u201cThe PM reaffirming his integrity by sacking Zahawi for breaching the ministerial code, having previously reappointed Braverman despite breaches of the the ministerial code.\u201d— Stephen Flynn MP (@Stephen Flynn MP) 1674986449
\u201c\u201cThe Prime Minister's sacking of Zahawi for breaking the ministerial code, while reinstating Suella Braverman just days after doing the same, shows exactly where his principles really lie.\u201d\u201d— James Ball (@James Ball) 1674992057
\u201c'Nadhim Zahawi is gone yet Suella Braverman breached the ministerial code and was reinstated just days later, can you explain that?'\n\nNick Ferrari puts Minister Helen Whately on the spot.\n\n@NickFerrariLBC | @Helen_Whately\u201d— LBC (@LBC) 1675065790
\u201cSo breaking the ministerial code is now a sackable offence? #Zahawi \n\nHmmmm\u2026.what about #Braverman reinstated after doing exactly the same?\n\nCould the PM kindly explain?\u201d— Phil Harries (@Phil Harries) 1674984292
It comes after Sunak revealed on Sunday morning that his ethics adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, had judged Zahawi to have broken ministerial rules seven times by failing to be open and honest during the tax saga – including by making “untrue” public statements.
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