Nadhim Zahawi urged to stand aside as Tory party chairman during probe into his tax affairs

Nadhim Zahawi was urged on Tuesday to stand aside as Tory party chairman while his tax affairs are probed by the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser. The call came from

senior Conservative Caroline Nokes, chair of the Commons women and equalities committee. She told BBC Breakfast: “Nadhim should stand aside until this matter is all cleared

up.” Her comments came as Mr Zahawi’s future as Tory chairman looked in increasing doubt as a minister said there were “very serious questions to answer” over his tax

affairs. Rishi Sunak on Monday ordered a probe by his ethics adviser Sir Laurie Magnus into Mr Zahawi’s tax situation saying there were “questions to answer” about it, and

his compliance with the ministerial code. But policing minister Chris Philp on Tuesday appeared to up the rhetoric, by referring to “very serious questions”. Mr Sunak

had defended the Cabinet minister at Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday, saying he had “addressed the matter in full”. But the Prime Minister appears to have been

unaware that Mr Zahawi had allegedly been given a penalty in reaching a settlement with HM Revenue and Customs over shares sold in YouGov, a company which he co-founded. The

BBC said on Monday that Mr Zahawi did pay a penalty as part of the deal, reported by the Guardian to be around 30 per cent, taking the total estimated settlement to around £4.8

million, though the figures have not been confirmed. Mr Zahawi has stressed that his “error” over the YouGov shares was “careless and not deliberate”. In a statement,

he said: “I am confident I acted properly throughout and look forward to answering any and all specific questions in a formal setting to Sir Laurie.”