PMQs: Rishi Sunak attacks Starmer for clear hypocrisy and 'political opportunism' as tax row explodes
The Prime Minister slapped down Keir Starmer's questions over Nadhim Zahawi's tax affairs during PMQs
Rishi Sunak attacked Sir Keir Starmer for "political opportunism" as the Labour leader quizzed the Prime Minister on Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs during PMQs.
The row centres on a tax bill over the sale of shares in YouGov, the polling firm Zahawi founded.
Sunak accused Labour of "clear hypocrisy" for urging him to appoint an ethics advisor then wanting a decision before the adviser had investigated the case.
Starmer told MPs: “I think anybody watching would think it’s fairly obvious that someone who seeks to avoid tax can’t also be in charge of tax. Yet for some reason the Prime Minister can’t bring himself to say that or even acknowledge the question.
“Now, last week the Prime Minister told this House that the chair of the Tory Party had addressed his tax affairs in full and there was nothing to add. This week, after days of public pressure, the Prime Minister now says there are serious questions to answer. What changed?”
Sunak replied: “The politically expedite thing to do, would be for me to have said that the matter must be resolved by Wednesday at noon, but I believe in proper due process.
“That’s why I appointed an independent advisor, that’s why the independent advisor is doing his job. But the opposition can’t have it both ways.
“The shadow leader also his party chair, both urged me and the Government to appoint an independent advisor and now he objects to that independent advisor doing their job.
“It’s simple political opportunism and everyone can see through it.”
The Prime Minister asked the independent adviser on ministers’ interests to look into Tory chairman Zahawi’s tax affairs on Monday.
The shares in YouGov, worth an estimated £27 million, were held by Balshore Investments, a company registered offshore in Gibraltar and linked to Zahawi’s family.
Sunak says Zahawi will remain Tory Party chairman while he is under investigation over the possible breach of the ministerial code, despite calls to resign.
Allies said on Monday that the former chancellor “absolutely” will not be quitting in the face of growing pressure over his settlement, estimated to be around £5 million.
He has insisted his “error” over shares in the YouGov polling company he co-founded was “careless and not deliberate” .
UK leaving European Convention on Human Rights 'extremely unlikely'
Anti-strike legislation to thwart Mick Lynch's bid to CRIPPLE Britain's rail networks sails through Commons
UK drivers risk £1,000 fine while changing gears for believing commonly shared myth
Angela Rayner leading plot to BLOCK plans to save children from teacher strikes as she sides with trade unions
Huge Brexit row: Furious former UKIP leader lashes out at Remainer - 'DON'T put words in my mouth!'
Tesco issues urgent recall of cheese product over concerns it contains pieces of PLASTIC - ‘Unsafe to eat!’
UK weather phenomena: 'Mother of pearl' cloud lights up sky above Britain
Asylum seekers receive staggering £160MILLION in payments on UK debit card - EXCLUSIVE
How to watch GB News: We're live on TV on Virgin channel 604, Freesat 216, Sky 512, Freeview 236, YouView 236. Listen wherever you are on DAB+ Radio, or if you haven't already, just download the GB News App to watch live, get breaking news alerts and catch up with all our shows on the go!