Nadhim Zahawi tells BBC's Laura Kuenssberg 'I am sorry' over £5m HMRC settlement row

Conservative MP and former Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg this morning (May 12)
Conservative MP and former Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg this morning (May 12) -Credit:BBC One

Former Chancellor and Warwickshire MP Nadhim Zahawi has told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg he was 'sorry' over £5m HMRC settlement. Last year, the Stratford MP came under pressure after admitting he paid a settlement to HM Revenue & Customs following a “careless and not deliberate” tax error relating to a shareholding in YouGov.

He went on to be sacked by the Prime Minister. This morning, just days after he announced that he would not be standing in the next General Election, he appeared on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme

The presenter quizzed him about the HMRC investigation and said to him: "As you prepare to stand down, there are some questions about what happened when you were removed from the government by Rishi Sunak, there are some questions that you have never answered.

"There was an independent report that said that you had not been transparent enough about an investigation made into your taxes by the HMRC, are you sorry about how you handled that?" to which the local MP said: "Of course, as I said in my retirement letter, my mistakes are my own.

"I am sorry that when I had my settlement with the HMRC two years, I should have probably been more explicit in the details in the ministerial declaration as to how the settlement was arrived at. That was my own mistake."

READ MORE: Coventry's only lap-dancing club confirms plans to move

The presenter added: "Are you ready to say why you paid a penalty to the tax man, as a result of what happened, how much you paid and what happened?"

The long-serving local MP said that he covers the issue in his memoir, but added: "HMRC found that it was non deliberate and a careless mistake. They (the HMRC) also accepted that I was not the beneficiary of an off-shore structure or trust but they thought the apportionment of shares in YouGov, when it was first launched, should have had more of the shares in my name.

"As it has been reported, the total payment was just shy of £5m." The host said:"Is that what you paid, nearly £5m?" to which he said: "Absolutely."

He stressed that while it was found to be 'non deliberate and careless' there was still a penalty attached to it, which he accepted 'fully'.

The MP added that he did not push back on it, especially as he was Chancellor, and it would have been a 'total abuse of power'.

Sign up for our FREE daily newsletter here for all the latest news about Coventry