The Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi and former Chancellor of the Exchequer has said an error in his tax affairs was accepted by HMRC as having been “careless and not deliberate”.
Sources have reported that Mr Zahawi has paid tax and a 30% penalty amounting to £4.8 million.
Mr Zahawi has stated:
“As a senior politician I know that scrutiny and propriety are important parts of public life. Twenty-two years ago I co-founded a company called YouGov. I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved. It is an amazing business that has employed thousands of people and provides a world-beating service.
When we set it up, I didn’t have the money or the expertise to go it alone. So I asked my father to help. In the process, he took founder shares in the business in exchange for some capital and his invaluable guidance.
Twenty one years later, when I was being appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, questions were being raised about my tax affairs. I discussed this with the Cabinet Office at the time.
Following discussions with HMRC, they agreed that my father was entitled to founder shares in YouGov, though they disagreed about the exact allocation. They concluded that this was a ‘careless and not deliberate’ error.
So that I could focus on my life as a public servant, I chose to settle the matter and pay what they said was due, which was the right thing to do.”
There have been calls for Mr Zahawi’s resignation.