Nadhim zahawi

Six questions for Sunak over Zahawi’s firing

Rishi Sunak intended the firing of Nadhim Zahawi to draw a line under the affair. Yet there are already questions being asked in Tory circles about whether the report rushed out this morning exaggerated the case against him. In his resignation letter, Mr S notices that Zahawi makes no confession of guilt. It suggests that Zahawi could yet comment on its findings. So, why the silence over its contents? Perhaps Zahawi thinks he did notify the right people in the right way at the right time – and cannot see how this constitutes what the PM calls a ‘very serious breach’ of the ministerial code. Perhaps things are precisely as the report

Nadhim Zahawi and the end of honour

Nadhim Zahawi, who has been sacked by Rishi Sunak after days of headlines over his tax affairs, could learn a lot from the example of one of his predecessors as chancellor. Labour chancellor Hugh Dalton entered the House of Commons to deliver his autumn Budget on 10 November 1947. On his way in, he was accosted by a journalist who jocularly asked him what he was about to say. Equally jovially, Dalton confided a couple of sentences on the changes in taxation he would announce within minutes. Before he finished his speech, the tidbits he had disclosed to the nosy hack were in the evening papers and the London stock

Is No. 10 preparing to let Zahawi go?

12 min listen

Over the last few days, Downing Street has been quietly distancing itself from Nadhim Zahawi, though seems unwilling to do anything until the investigation into Zahawi’s tax affairs finishes. Today, the Tory chairman’s plight was made worse by comments from Jim Harra, chief executive of HMRC. Cindy Yu discusses with Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Is Tory sleaze cutting through?

12 min listen

Today, Rishi Sunak faced another round of questioning over the two ongoing Tory sleaze scandals. What is it about these stories that infuriate voters, and can the Prime Minister close the chapter on them as he promised to do? Max Jeffery talks to Katy Balls and pollster James Johnson, co-founder of JL Partners. Produced by Max Jeffery and Cindy Yu.

Revealed: Boris and Zahawi away from desks as recession looms

The Bank of England forecasts are out and they make for grim reading. The experts on Threadneedle Street predict that inflation will soar to 13 per cent, with Britain expected to undergo five consecutive quarters of recession. Interest rates are being hiked to 1.75 per cent – the biggest jump in 27 years – and there’s increased fears about what this all means for a looming winter heating crisis. In such circumstances, you might expect it to be all hands to the pump in Westminster to try to calm fears. But over at 10 Downing Street and the Treasury, it seems that there’s a more relaxed approach to Britain’s current

Why Rishi Sunak quit

On Tuesday, the last cabinet meeting with Sajid Javid as health secretary and Rishi Sunak as chancellor passed without any hint that either was about to resign. The ministers did not co-ordinate their resignations, but they had both been tipped over the edge by growing evidence that No. 10 had misled MPs by declaring Boris Johnson had no prior knowledge of Chris Pincher’s behaviour. Sunak had also grown tired of the Prime Minister’s economic ‘cake-ism’ – the fantasy of wanting both high spending and low taxes. The contradictions had become untenable. In that cabinet meeting, Johnson offered more cake. He was his usual ebullient self, promising a morale-raising speech to

Read: the new Chancellor’s interview with the BBC

This is an edited transcript of the interview with the new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi on the Today programme this morning. Nick Robinson: You faced a choice yesterday, and I’d like you to explain it to our listeners. Why was it in the country’s interests as against yours, for you to stay in the cabinet and not to follow Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid? Nadhim Zahawi: Because we are facing a global battle against inflation. Inflation is raging here in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in Canada and the United States. We have war on our continent that very few people anticipated. And I think many, many people listening to this programme today are

What next for Nadhim Zahawi?

One by one, cabinet ministers are confirming that they are not resigning this evening, leaving a very small group of ministers who have said nothing. One of the most conspicuous silences comes from Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary. He has been mooted as a potential leadership contender, and has refused to rule out a bid. Tonight, he is not answering calls from colleagues. He is reading messages on WhatsApp but not replying to them. It has now been too long for him just to be a bit busy. Zahawi has one of those things that Westminster types are obsessed with: a backstory Currently we have two cabinet resignations and a

The Blob is back with a vengeance – and the Tories aren’t ready for it

In what I supposed we should see as a sign of progress, the government has decided not to destroy its own school reforms, by revoking the first 18 clauses of the recently-published Schools Bill. I disclosed two weeks ago in the Daily Telegraph that many ex-ministers were up in arms at what they saw as the revenge of ‘The Blob’, the bureaucratic forces that have been against school reform. My concern is that rushing out legislation that is not ready shows a wider government meltdown, happening at quite a pace The Schools Bill said that, rather than be self-governing, academy schools would lose control over the ‘nature and quality of

Ministers make a royal mess of Jubilee books

Speak to any disaffected Tory these days and the conversation quickly turns to one of leadership. Who should be next to wear the Conservative crown? Rishi? Damaged goods. Liz? Always self-promoting. Jeremy Hunt? Come off it. With question marks hanging over each of the main contenders, one name increasingly doing the rounds is that of dark horse Nadhim Zahawi, the millionaire businessman whose supporters bill him as the man who gets things done. The case for Zahawi goes as follows: he came to this nation an immigrant child yet built the hugely successful YouGov polling firm. After years of being overlooked for high office, he oversaw the successful vaccine roll-out

Time is running out for the Tories to meet their promises

Will the Conservatives have much evidence that they’ve helped the country recover from the pandemic by the next election? Even though all the indications are that the party will go for a later poll in 2024, they still do not have much time to fix the big holes that have gaped wider as a result of Covid. In many cases, such as the NHS backlog, the holes were already there before the pandemic, which makes them even harder to close up. Education is another policy area where the rhetoric and time left to fulfil it just don’t seem to match up. This morning I asked Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi on

Nadhim Zahawi: how I escaped Saddam’s Iraq

One night in December 1977, when Saddam Hussein was deputy leader of Iraq and already the strongman of the government, Nadhim Zahawi’s father was tipped off that Saddam’s secret police were after him. Zahawi, a Kurd working in Baghdad, decided to leave right away. He phoned the office to say that he was travelling to the north of the country for work and quickly set about his escape. The Baathist secret police did come for him that night, but by the time they arrived at his house, he was at Baghdad International Airport with a ticket to London. An 11-year-old Nadhim nervously saw him off at the airport with his

Lindsay Hoyle praises dodgy doners

As the Ukraine crisis worsened last night, where else would politicos be except the British Kebab Awards – which celebrate all that is good about the humble kebab shop. Alongside journalists, bag-handlers and spinners, a raft of politicians were queuing up to pay tribute to the industry including shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy and education minister Nadhim Zahawi, who delivered a fiery denunciation of Putin from the lectern. The guest of honour though was Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle. The Chorley MP used the occasion to both condemn what was happening in Ukraine and then reveal his own love of cooked meat dishes. He told the raucous attendees that:

Sunday shows roundup: No. 10 won’t set an ‘arbitrary target’ for lifting lockdown

With the vaccine rollout exceeding expectations, the government now faces pressure from its own side of the House to lift the current lockdown as fast as possible. The Covid Recovery Group, chaired by the former chief whip Mark Harper, has sent a letter to the PM which has been endorsed by 63 MPs calling for all restrictions to be lifted after the nine designated vulnerable groups have received their vaccines – which is forecast for the end of April. Appearing on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab set out the government’s position: DR: I don’t think you can set an arbitrary target, and not be evidence led… which is