Millionaire ex-chancellor in hot water over tax issues

Tory president, Nadhim Zahawi, who is in angry waters over tax affairs, is a multi-millionaire former businessman who rose to political power very quickly.

A non-English speaking child has an interesting track record of success as an entrepreneur after arriving in the UK as a refugee.

Born to a Kurdish family in Iraq, Zahawi came to England at the age of nine when his family fled from Saddam Hussein’s regime.

He grew up in Sussex and studied chemical engineering at University College London.

In 2000, Mr. Zahawi founded the survey company YouGov, has been in the helm of the successful company for ten years and has become very wealthy in the process.

However, his finances draw attention amid allegations that he evaded taxes by using an offshore company registered in Gibraltar to acquire a stake in YouGov, which he denies.

He recently admitted that he had paid what HM Revenue & Customs called “due” after the tax office had “disputed over the final allocation” of the founding shares in the company held by his father.

Nadhim Zahavi

Nadhim Zahawi was chancellor from July to September last year (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Zahawi is believed to be one of the wealthiest politicians in the House of Commons.

He first entered Parliament in 2010 as a Tory MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

He spent nearly eight years in the back row and gained media attention in 2013 for claiming barn heating costs for his horses.

After taking the role of first junior minister in the Department of Education under Theresa May in 2018, she soon rose through the ranks to become Secretary of Education.

But he rose to prominence in 2020 when he was promoted by the Government to lead the release of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Mr. Zahawi was appointed chancellor by Boris Johnson last summer, hours after Rishi Sunak’s dramatic resignation and a day before the scandal-ridden then prime minister was forced to resign.

cabinet meeting

Cabinet of former prime minister Boris Johnson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Questions are swirling about whether Mr. Zahawi negotiated the dispute with HMRC during his two-month tenure in charge of the country’s taxation.

He made an unsuccessful attempt to replace Mr Johnson in the Tory leadership race.

When Liz Truss was victorious, she appointed Mr. Zahawi as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

After his prime ministership exploded, Mr. Zahawi announced that he would initially support Mr Johnson to return as Prime Minister, before changing allegiance to Mr Sunak the same day after the former leader said he would not participate in the contest.

Mr. Sunak is now facing questions about how much he knew about tax affairs when he brought Mr. Zahawi to his cabinet as the minister and Conservative party chairman without a portfolio in the Cabinet Office.

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