Nadhim Zahawi should ‘stand aside’ now, says senior Tory

Conservative party chairman Nadhim Zahawi should resign now to end the “distraction” of his multimillion-pound tax error, former Tory minister Caroline Nokes has

said. Rishi Sunak has ordered an investigation in Mr Nadhim’s tax affairs after it emerged that the PM was kept in the dark about his cabinet minister paying a penalty to

settle a tax dispute with HMRC. But Ms Nokes said Mr Zahawi should “stand aside” before the probe concludes because the controversy was becoming too damaging for the

government. “In order to clear this up, Nadhim should stand aside and let the investigation run its course,” the senior Tory told TalkTV. “Once you are the story you have to

go. I genuinely think this is too much of a problem, for him, for the prime minister.” The former equalities minister said Mr Zahawi had left “too many unanswered

questions”, adding: “There are countless examples of good, competent cabinet colleagues who have got themselves in a mess, who have resigned quickly and come back in some

instances a few months later.” Senior Tory MPs have told The Independent the under-fire minister’s position as Tory chair is “untenable” and he is “unlikely” to survive –

saying it was impossible for him to represent in the government in the media. Backbenchers are also getting anxious. One Tory MP told The Independent it was getting

“tiresome” to try to account for the Tory chairman’s behaviour, adding that the pressure on Mr Zahawi “will not go away”. One former cabinet minister told the Financial

Times: “This is fatal for Nadhim, he’s toast.”