Nadhim Zahawi under pressure to quit ahead of PMQs as standards watchdog criticises his threats to sue – UK politics live

2 weeks ago 14

Latest updates: PMQs will be ‘very uncomfortable’ if Zahawi still in post, says David Gauke, as Lord Evans criticises threats of libel action

Keir Starmer will use his questions at PMQs to try to establish when Rishi Sunak learnt details of Nadhim Zahawi’s tax arrangements, Robert Wright and George Parker write in the Financial Times. They say:

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader, will demand answers from Sunak at prime minister’s questions. “The key question to Sunak is: what did he know and when did he know it,” said one Starmer ally.

Sunak told MPs last Wednesday that Zahawi had “already addressed the matter in full and there is nothing more that I can add”, as he attempted to draw a line under the matter.

If you’re trying to close down a legitimate public debate, I don’t think that lives up to the standards Lord Nolan laid down and which the government has committed itself to. Accountability [and] openness are things which the government says that it wants to be characterising its own behaviour, so that I think speaks for itself …

The sort of attempts, apparent legal attempts, to suppress this story … I don’t think that does live up to the sort of standards that the public would rightly expect.

What we now know is that what Nadhim Zahawi was saying in the summer is very hard, if not impossible, to reconcile with the information that he has paid a penalty in respect of his [tax] arrangements …

It appears that he was threatening to sue people for libel for essentially telling the truth, for essentially setting out analysis of what happened that seems to stand up to reality.

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