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UK PM Sunak wants to “restore integrity“ after sacking Zahawi

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looks on outside Number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, January 25, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would do whatever was necessary to “restore integrity” when asked about the sacking of Conservative Party chair Nadhim Zahawi over his personal tax affairs – the latest scandal to involve one of his ministers.

“I will take whatever steps are necessary to restore the integrity back into politics,” Sunak told reporters on Monday, the day after he sacked Zahawi.

Sunak had initially stood by Zahawi before ordering an independent adviser to investigate questions over his tax affairs after it emerged Zahawi had settled a probe by Britain’s tax authorities last year.

It is a setback to Sunak’s attempt at a government reset after a chaotic 2022 that saw three different British prime ministers. An investigation into alleged bullying by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab is ongoing and could cause further headaches.

Answering reporters’ questions during a visit to the north of England, Sunak said he followed the right process over Zahawi.

“What I’ve done is follow a process, which is the right process. Integrity is really important to me,” he said.

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