Anti-corruption unit chairman concerned about new chancellor

Labor MP Margaret Hodge has posted an open letter to Nadhim Zahawi raising concerns about his suitability for the post of UK chancellor.

Hodge, who is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Taxation, said reports that the National Crime Agency investigated Zahawi’s business affairs, as well as other matters, raise a “legitimate question” about his “suitability” for the role. of Chancellor.

In the open letter posted on Twitter, Hodge posed numerous questions to the newly appointed chancellor.

This includes asking him:

  • If he or anyone in his immediate family had ever had non-dom status.
  • If his “close links” with two offshore companies were used for tax evasion purposes.
  • Whether he owns shares in these two offshore companies, and if so, why these are not declared in the MP’s register of interests. Or alternatively, if its financial relationship with these two companies is maintained through trusts.
  • Whether his £100million property portfolio was acquired through the facilitation of offshore companies or service companies based in tax havens.
  • Whether he has paid the required taxes, including stamp duty, when purchasing these properties and whether he has fully declared all his properties in the MP’s Register of Interests.
  • Why he once helped £20m worth of YouGov (the company he co-founded) shares into a Gibraltar-based company, and whether his use of offshore structures here was for tax avoidance purposes.
  • Whether he still has a “significant” stake in YouGov through offshore arrangements, and whether he has ever received dividends from that company or other offshore companies, and if so, whether he has paid taxes on UK dividends.

Hodge admitted his line of questioning was ‘rather personal’ but said it was in the public interest as it would be ‘hugely inappropriate’ for a Chancellor to have used offshore structures for tax avoidance purposes .

She said it would mean “one rule for those in power and another for everyone else”.

It was recently revealed that Zahawi’s finances had been under covert investigation by the National Crime Agency, but this has not led to any action being taken against Zahawi and there have been no suggestions of any action. objectionable.

As an MP, Zahawi faced scrutiny for a second job at an oil company where he earned £1,000 an hour, or £1.3million. Due to a parliamentary loophole, excess revenue beyond that may have been hidden.

Nadhim Zahawi was recently promoted to Chancellor following Sunak’s resignation. He has now also launched a bid to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and is seen as a strong contender for the job.

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