Tory leadership candidate Nadhim Zahawi’s taxes under investigation - reports

·2-min read
Tory leadership candidate Nadhim Zahawi’s taxes under investigation - reports

An investigation is underway into the tax affairs of newly-appointed Nadhim Zahawi, reports have stated.

Inland Revenue is investigating the candidate’s financial affairs, the Independent reports, after an inquiry was launched by the National Crime Agency in 2020.

According to the report, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) also investigated the Chancellor.

The investigation was then passed to HMRC and the outcome of the probe is reportedly “unresolved”. Boris Johnson was allegedly alerted before appointing him as Chancellor and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Mr Zahawi.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said that the Chancellor has followed the process set out in the ministerial code.

A spokesperson for Mr Zahawi told the publication: “All Mr Zahawi’s financial interests have been properly and transparently declared. Mr Zahawi is not aware of any formal investigation by HMRC. His taxes are fully paid and up to date. He will provide full information to any queries that HMRC have about his tax affairs.”

Nadhim Zahawi (Jamie Lorriman)
Nadhim Zahawi (Jamie Lorriman)

The millionaire launched his campaign for leadership in Saturday evening, pledging to lower taxes, boost defence spending and continue with education reforms.

Born in Iraq to a Kurdish family, the new Chancellor came to the UK as a nine-year-old when his parents fled the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The Chancellor has been backed by Michelle Donelan, who resigned from the role of education secretary on Thursday – less than 36 hours after accepting it and former Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis.

In his bid for leader, he said: “My aim is a simple one: to provide the opportunities that were afforded to my generation, to all Britons, whoever you are and wherever you come from. To steady the ship and to stabilise the economy.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The usual pre-appointment declarations were made by the minister and any necessary checks completed.”

The HMRC, NCA and SFO did not confirm or deny the investigation.

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