Stratford constituents call for MP Nadhim Zahawi to go - The Leamington Observer

Stratford constituents call for MP Nadhim Zahawi to go

STRATFORD constituents are calling for MP Nadhim Zahawi to go.

The call comes after the Stratford MP was sacked from the cabinet for a ‘serious breach of the Ministerial Code’ related to his tax affairs at the weekend.

Campaign group Stratford-on-Avon Compass and Stratford Liberal Democrats have both urged Mr Zahawi to resign as MP after he suggested he intended to continue representing the constituency.

The 55-year-old’s sacking as Tory Party Chairman follows an investigation by the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser Sir Laurie Magnus after it emerged Mr Zahawi had paid a seven-figure settlement, including a penalty, to HMRC for tax avoidance.

Sir Laurie found Mr Zahawi had been in breach of the ministerial code on seven occasions by failing to declare his tax affairs and denying media reports he was under investigation by HMRC.

This included not declaring he was being investigated by the tax body when he was appointed chancellor by Boris Johnson.

The investigation took six days to complete.

Stratford-on-Avon Compass is urging Mr Zahawi to resign as MP and, failing that, is calling on all progressives – Labour, Green Party and Lid Dem voters – to unite and oust Mr Zahawi at the next general election.

Vikki Parker, campaign group co-ordinator, said: “Nadhim Zahawi has been sacked from his role as Conservative Party chair following the investigation into his tax affairs, but despite everything that’s happened he’s still in Westminster representing our constituency.

“If he isn’t fit to be the Conservative Party Chair, he isn’t fit to be an MP.”

Mr Zahawi has been MP for Stratford since 2010. At the last general election in 2019, he won a majority of 19,972.

Electoral calculus predictions based on current polling suggest the Conservatives could still win the seat next time – but unlike in 2019, the progressive vote would outnumber the Tory vote.

Vikki added: “The reason I’m part of Compass is that I don’t feel represented. I’ve voted all my life and never been represented by somebody I voted for.

“Nadhim Zahawi is an absentee MP. I feel he does little locally and this tax fiasco is yet another example of the sleaze, corruption and dishonesty that continues to taint the Conservative party.”

Stratford Liberal Democrats are also calling for Mr Zahawi’s resignation.

Spokesperson Manuela Perteghella said: “In his letter to the Prime Minister Mr Zahawi appears to show no contrition and there is no apology to his constituents. He states he will be serving as a backbencher MP ‘in the coming years’. The Stratford Conservatives need to make clear: are they backing Mr Zahawi in his aim to be an MP for years to come, or are they going to ask him to resign?”

In a letter to PM Rishi Sunak following his sacking, Mr Zahawi said: “It has been the privilege of my life to serve in successive Governments and make what I believe to have been a tangible difference to the country I love.”

He continued: “You can be assured of my support from the backbenches in the continuing years.”

Stratford Conservative Association has been approached for comment.

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