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Nadhim Zahawi sacked by Rishi Sunak without a fair hearing, say allies
Claims Tory chairman lost his job because Prime Minister rushed to remove him for political expediency

This is politics. Of course it was done for political expediency. Everything is done for political expediency. Nothing is done for reasons other than political expediency.

This is why it’s such a shit way of doing things.

24 thoughts on “Dumbkopfs!”

  1. My beef against Zahawi is that he is obviously only there because he bunged the party a lot of dosh.
    He gives the impression of being a particularly shady businessman, the sort we used to see on Minder.
    He is also a really unconvincing liar. While he was telling the House that the govt had no plans to introduce Vax IDs, the Dept of Health was advertising Requests for Tenders for firms to write the software !
    He should have gone for that alone, but you know, political expediency

  2. Nadhim Zahawi is the guy who accepted the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer from Boris, and then demanded Boris’ resignation the next day.

    And now he’s crying about fairness, lol.

  3. What is the taxman’s beef with Zahawi then? I’ve never seen it fully explained what he did that he shouldn’t have. I know it involved overseas trusts and his parents somehow, but thats about it.

  4. I’m not sure either. But it’s something to do with his YouGov shares. Something like – summat – he put them into a trust for his kids but didn’t do it right?

  5. Even on the facts that have slipped out between the silence and non-denial denials it’s clear that Nadim Zahawi was doing something either so dodgy or subject to such poor advice that it triggered HMRC penalties.

    They don’t do that over some oversight, so pretty clear (reading between the lines) that he’s taking the piss.

    You’ll note that Rishi didn’t even bother with the usual pleasantries, just “You’re sacked, now phuq off”, basically, which in and of itself is telling.

  6. Rishi Sunak is an anagram of HI RISK ANUS, which explains everything.

    Re: the Tax Avoider of Baghdad, I completely, 100% sympathise with his dislike of giving Hector money. If he was a tax-cutting Chancellor he might even have been able to brazen it out.

    But he’s not a tax-cutting Chancellor, he’s a very naughty boy.

  7. I’m still not much the wiser. Zahawi starts a company (YouGov) and gives his shares to another company (Balshore) that is itself controlled by his Dad. Why can’t he do this? The shares can’t have been worth much, the company had only just started (back in 2000). So why does he now owe the tax man millions?

  8. If the shares really are nothing to do with him then that’s – maybe – fine. But he collected dividends from them. So they were something to do with him. So, when they were sold they were to do with him, not just the trust. I think…..

  9. As Zahawi paid £3+ million tax plus charges for being ‘careless’, I think it safe to assume they were his shares and he was liable for the tax. Apparently, in the context of income tax, ‘Careless’ has a number of meanings. Perhaps Andrew C or another with expertise in this area could clarify for us?

  10. The bloke who outed him was natasha devon. He said Nadhim’s yougove “founder” shares were put in an offshore (gibraltar) trust in his father’s (beneficial) name. Yougov has stated his Dad had no role in the founding so question 1 is how did he get them? They eventually became worth in the region 27 million squid. Then the shares were realised and 27 million found its way into Nadhim’s bank account in the UK. If that’s true then Devon calculated 3ish million would be due under some tax or other. Nadhim didn’t declare it to HMRC. Why not is question 2. He didn’t declare a conflict of interest when HMRC said he was under investigation, why not is question 3. When he did eventually settle (after several obfuscations and libel threats) 3million ish is was paid. What’s more his excuse that he was “careless” and its all been settled is a bit revealing. Devon says it suggests he didn’t seek “advice”. I.e. he didn’t get and follow advice that subsequently turned out to be wrong, he just didn’t declare it.

  11. i.e. it can always turn out to be wrong, but you’re not “careless” if you do seek and follow professional tax advice.

  12. Zahavi’s behaviour has been extremely dodgy. Putting his shares into his father’s offshore trust can only have been done to avoid tax. But any competent tax advisor would have warned them that this would fall foul of anti avoidance legislation. My guess is that he didn’t take any advice at the time, and only did so when he hit the headlines at which point his advisors told him he was bang to rights and they negotiated a settlement.

    This isn’t over. There are open questions about what Zahawi declared in the mps register of interests and what he disclosed about the investigation when he was appointed Chancellor. And his libel threats against multiple journalists and bloggers were pure bullying.

  13. it’s clear that Nadim Zahawi was doing something either so dodgy or subject to such poor advice that it triggered HMRC penalties. They don’t do that over some oversight, so pretty clear (reading between the lines) that he’s taking the piss.

    I can tell you from personal experience (on a far smaller scale) that they do. We reported my company car for my personal company using form P123A (or whatever) instead of (the very similar) P123B. All the numbers were correct and precisely the right amount of tax was paid. But when we realised our mistake and explained it to HMRC, we were hit with a £1,000 ‘fine’.

    I’m reasonably confident we could have fought it, but I’d have needed to hire someone like Andrew C as well as taking up my own time, so we just bit the bullet, seething.

  14. @ Hallowed be
    The story is that when Nadhim founded Yougov he didn’t have enough money ofhis own so Zahawi senior put up a lot of the capital. So giving him shares was not just legitimate but perfectly standard practice. The dispute is over how many shaares Zahawi senior should have received to recompense him for his capital investmenmt and ongoing advice.
    Since entrepreneurs pay lower CGT than outside investors on sale of a successful start-up, the charge must be due to Zahawi senior’s offshore holding company not being liable to UK CGT

  15. I still don’t get why Zahawi couldn’t have given away his shares to whoever he pleased? OK there could be CGT tax due on a gift of business assets (but often isn’t if hold over relief applies) but given the company had just started they wouldn’t have been worth that much anyway, and any CGT tax due fairly minimal.

    Surely the issue is not the ‘giving away’, but the ‘having the money back when the shares had been sold’ part that is the issue? The latter showing that the gift was nothing of the sort and just a ruse. But surely there is nothing intrinsically wrong with giving away business assets? There are people all over the country handing on business assets to their children, all entirely above board.

  16. john77—yes, i’m sure its plausible even likely that Dad financed his son and nought wrong with that. The tax legally due is the only real issue, along with any cover up that flows from that. I expect it to be complicated in detail about what rules apply to what transaction etc, and anyone can make a mistake. If we’re talking 27mill though you would have thought it highly worth getting professional advice on how to navigate those rules properly.

  17. There is much puzzlement over what happened. I can only guess, but this is what I think. The ownership of the original shares is a bit of a red herring. What really matters is that they were apparently owned by a foreign company, trust, or some combination of such things. If someone could indirectly hold their assets like that, and there was no provision in the tax rules, they would pay little or no tax is many circumstances. To prevent that, there must be tax rules which say, effectively, that if you hold assets like that then you still pay tax on them because they’re really yours. I suspect Zahawi has fallen foul of such rules. Possibly in a way that could have been avoided by setting things up differently. Tax rules tend to be complicated with surprising exceptions.

    The relevance of his father is that the father no longer lives in the UK, so would not be liable for UK taxes. Again, there must be tax rules to ensure that if someone owns assets they can’t just pretend that someone living abroad owns them to avoid getting taxed – otherwise everyone would be doing it.

    And finally, @Hallowed Be – “If we’re talking 27mill though you would have thought it highly worth getting professional advice”

    Yes, but you need the advice when you’re setting things up initially, when you haven’t yet made any money. Once the company is worth many millions, it’s too late.

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