Rishi Sunak refers Nadhim Zahawi to new Whitehall ethics advisor over tax affairs

Rishi Sunak has asked his independent ethics adviser to investigate the Nadhim Zahawi tax row, saying there were “clearly questions that need answering”. The prime

minister said Mr Zahawi will remain Conservative party chairman while he faces the inquiry into a possible breach of the ministerial code. On a visit to a hospital in

Northamptonshire, the PM told reporters: “Integrity and accountability is really important to me and clearly in this case there are questions that need answering.” “That’s

why I’ve asked our independent adviser to get to the bottom of everything, to investigate the matter fully and establish all the facts and provide advice to me on Nadhim Zahawi’s

compliance with the ministerial code,” Mr Sunak added. Asked whether Mr Zahawi should not stand down during the investigation, Mr Sunak said: “As is longstanding practice,

he will continue to play the role he does.” Mr Zahawi welcomed the investigation and said “I am confident I acted properly throughout” after admitting at the weekend had

settled a dispute with the HMRC over a “careless” error. The Independent first revealed last July that Mr Zahawi was being investigated by HMRC over the sale of shares in

the polling company YouGov he co-founded 22 years ago. The Tory chair – who previously claimed reports of HMRC inquiries into his taxes were a “smear” – admitted on Saturday

he had settled a dispute. Mr Zahawi said he was judged to have made a “careless” error in the allocation of shares.