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6 car crash moments from this minister’s attempts to defend Zahawi


Chris Phillips was dispatched this morning to defend the government on the country’s top broadcasters amid an emerging scandal around Nadim Zahavi’s taxes.

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Zahawi, chancellor for a brief term in 2022, had to pay a multi-million pound fine in unpaid taxes to HMRC while leading the Treasury.

Zahavi was sole chancellor for the last two months in office of Boris Johnson, before becoming minister for equality and intergovernmental relations and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Liz Truss.

After a brief bid to run as Tory leader (and later PM), he was appointed as Tory party chairman by Sunak in October.

When reports emerged over the weekend that Zahavi had made a lump-sum payment to HMRC, he claimed that HMRC had agreed his mistake was “negligent and not intentional”.

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While trying to play down the furore surrounding the Tory party chairman’s finances, Philip faltered several times.

Here’s a round-up of the most eye-opening comments the junior minister made during his media interaction.

1. He claims Sunak has acted ‘quickly and decisively’

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Philip told Sky News’ Kamali Melbourne that PM Rishi Sunak is doing the right thing by ordering an investigation into the Zahavi tax saga by his independent ethics adviser.

Despite calling for this inquiry (which has been criticized for being rushed down the road), Philip said Sunak had acted “quickly and decisively”.

“He has done exactly what you would expect from someone who is committed to upholding standards in public life.”

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However, others believe that Sunak should have fired Zahavi.

(Tags to translate) Orthodox



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