Rishi Sunak facing PMQs grilling over Nadhim Zahawi tax controversy

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Ishii Sunak is facing a barrage of questions over what she knew about Nadim Zahawi’s tax controversy and about Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Despite the PM’s spokesman saying last week that Mr. Zahavi had already fully addressed the matter, Mr. Sunak acknowledged earlier this week that “there are questions that need to be answered” and that his An investigation was ordered by the ethics consultant.

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David Gouke, the former justice secretary, became the latest senior Conservative figure to call on Mr Zahavi to resign.

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He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that if he were prime minister he would be “very tempted” to encourage her to step down.

“Today at 12 o’clock is going to be very uncomfortable for Rishi Sunak if Nadim Zahavi is still in place,” he said.

On Tuesday night, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve told Newsnight: “If I were prime minister I would call Nadim Zahawi and I would ask him to please tell us exactly what has happened. Because there is no need for investigation in this. You have to tell me what it is.

“And unless Nadim Zahavi can make the case that some unfortunate mistake has been made in this matter which renders him completely innocent, it seems to me that after due exercise he should resign.”

But a Tory source said of Mr Zahavi this morning: “He is not resigning.”

live updates

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Starmer asks if government’s hands are bloodied over parole failures

Labour’s Sir Keir says there are “systemic issues” in parole services, which are a ministerial responsibility.

Sunak replies that steps are being taken to implement new procedures for recalling offenders. He says it is already making a difference.

Sir Keir says parole services are failing across the country. “This is yet another important public service after thirteen years of the Tory government on its knees.”

He says he has spoken to Ms Alina’s family, who say the government has “blood on their hands”.

Mr Sunak replies: “We want to increase the safety of women and girls, we need tougher punishments. And that’s why this government passed the Police Crime and Sentencing Act which [Keir Starmer and Labour] protested.

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Keir Starmer presses PM over Zara Alina case

Labor’s first question relates to the case of Zara Alina, who was brutally attacked and murdered in East London. Her killer was allowed to roam the streets after failing probation, a shocking report has found.

He asks: “Does the prime minister accept those findings?”

Mr Sunak replies: “It is indeed a terrible crime … The failures were serious and unacceptable.”

He says that serious steps are being taken to address these concerns.

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Pic: Rishi Sunak stepping out from No. 10 for PMQs

Rishi Sunak leaves No. 10 to join PMQ

, AFP via Getty Images

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Sunak welcomes Germany’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine

Away from domestic politics, Rishi Sunak has welcomed Germany’s decision to send its iconic Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has finally given the “green light” to supply tanks to Ukraine after weeks of hesitation that saw growing impatience among the country’s allies.

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, urged Germany to provide tanks to “unleash the real punching fist of democracy” to drive Russian troops out of Ukraine.

Mr. Sunak said that “it was the right decision by NATO allies and friends to send the main battle tanks to Ukraine. Along with the Challenger 2s, they will strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower.”

“Together, we are intensifying our efforts to ensure that Ukraine wins this war and achieves a lasting peace.”

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Lib Dems ask Zahavi to stand down

The Liberal Democrats have issued calls for Zahavi to be sacked or suspended while his tax affairs are under investigation.

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “The Conservative Party is trapped in an endless cycle of idleness and chaos, while the country grapples with the cost of living and the NHS crisis.

“What more will it take for Sunak to finally do the right thing and fire Zahavi, or at least suspend him for the duration of this investigation?”

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Image: Nadeem Zahawi at Tory Party HQ

Tory Party chairman Nadim Zahavi is pictured at the Conservative Party headquarters in Westminster.

The press has gathered outside his house since morning as he faces mounting calls to step down.

Getty Images

Nadeem Zahawi leaving Tory party headquarters

, Getty Images

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PMQ comes before strike day on February 1

Rishi Sunak may also face questions about what his government is doing to avoid strikes.

Next Wednesday, 1 February, is set to be one of the biggest days of industrial action in recent years, with teachers, train drivers, civil servants and university lecturers walking out.

The Trade Union Congress is also organizing nationwide events on February 1 to protest against the government’s controversial planned legislation on unions agreeing to provide a minimum level of service during industrial action.

Unions believed that the planned legislation would result in workers being dismissed even if they had voted to strike legitimately.

Industrial unrest has been building up across the country for months, involving rail workers, nurses, other NHS staff, teachers, civil servants, council staff and others.

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Sunak faces pressure over Zahavi tax dispute

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of PMQs.

Rishi Sunak will face questioning from MPs in the afternoon about what he knew about Tory party chairman Nadim Zahawi’s tax affairs and when.

Mr Zahavi has previously dismissed reports of an HMRC investigation into his taxes as a “smear”.

But it was revealed last week that Mr Zahavi paid an estimated £5m fine to HMRC over a tax dispute while Chancellor.

Mr. Zahavi has also faced criticism for alleged legal threats to those concerned about his tax affairs.

Lord Evans, chair of the committee on standards in public life, told BBC Radio 4’s PM program on Tuesday: “Accountability, openness are things that the government says it wants to characterize its behaviour, so that I think is a good example of its own Speaks for

“The kind of effort, the obvious legal effort, to suppress this story, I don’t think it meets the kind of standards the public would rightly expect.”

Rishi Sunak facing PMQs grilling over Nadhim Zahawi tax controversy

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