A tax expert has claimed that Nadhim Zahawi should resign after he defended his tax affairs in a TV interview on Sky News, and it turns out that the evidence he was saying was “not true.”
Dan Neidle, a lawyer and founder of Tax Policy Associates, has spent months investigating Zahawi and in the interests of full disclosure, he told the broadcaster he personally supports the Labour Party, but advises all politicians, and he “always keep my tax analysis and legal work separate from my private political views.”
Over the weekend Zahawi confirmed he paid a late penalty over unpaid tax to HMRC when he was the Chancellor.
Neidle told Sky News Kay Burley, that this raises questions over comments he made to Burley last summer.
Zahawi told Burley, he was “clearly being smeared” over questions about his affairs, to which he did not “benefit” from an “offshore trust.”
Neidle said that a filing disclosure shows Zahawi “received £99,000 from Balshore Investments,” which is a company based in Gibraltar.
Neidle said, “That’s not my supposition or a guess, it’s absolute fact.
“And yet he denied that to you.
“I said to his lawyers – why is he saying this to Kay Burley when the evidence says it’s not true?
“And they wouldn’t reply.”
He added, “It could be there’s an innocent explanation for this which makes perfect sense – I lack the imagination to see it.
“And if there isn’t one, I think he should resign.”
Neidle said that Zahawi saying he was “careless” when settling with HMRC means that “there was a penalty” he would have had to pay, which could have been as much as 30%.
Neidle concluded, “I think he would have received about £27 million and not paid tax on it until eventually he was forced to because it was being reported.
“Didn’t admit it, denied it, threatened to sue people and went to HMRC to quietly settle it.”
The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ordered an investigation into Zahawi on Monday morning.
Sunak said, “I think it is important we do these things professionally. Integrity and accountability’s really important to me, but it’s also important we do these things properly.
“That’s why the independent adviser has been asked to fully investigate this matter and provide advice to me on Nadhim Zahawi’s compliance with the ministerial code, and on the basis of that we’ll decide on the appropriate next steps.”
He added, “Integrity and accountability is really important to me and clearly in this case there are questions that need answering.”