UK’s Sunak defends handling of ethics breaches in government

LONDON, 01 February 2023, (TON): British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended his record on integrity and decisiveness, amid criticism of the way he has handled ethics scandals involving senior Conservatives.

Sunak said he acted “pretty decisively” to fire party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi after the government’s standards adviser found that he’d breached ministerial conduct rules by failing to come clean about a tax dispute.

The adviser, Laurie Magnus, found that Zahawi hadn’t told the prime minister that he’d settled a multimillion-pound (dollar) unpaid tax bill, and paid a penalty to the tax office, while he was in charge of the UK Treasury.

Magnus said Zahawi’s failure to tell officials about the tax investigation was “a serious failure to meet the standards set out in the ministerial code.”

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