It’s a bad morning to be Nadhim Zahawi. On Question Time last night, his predecessor as Conservative Party Chairman, Jake Berry, publicly called for him to stand aside. After prefacing his comments with “I know Nadhim Zahawi very well, I’d consider him a friend”, Jake didn’t waste any time in throwing his mate under a bus:
“The government needs to find a mechanism for ministers and MPs who are under investigation in this way to step aside, to clear their name, and then to come back into government if that is appropriate. I think for Nadhim, great individual that he is, that would be the right thing to do now”
Berry insisted this was a long-term and consistent position, which he reinforced by confirming his view that Dominic Raab should also stand down. This just days after semi-detached-Tory Caroline Nokes publicly called for the same. With friends like these…
The morning papers would hardly have provided any relief for Zahawi. The Guardian splashes with calls for an inquiry into an unsecured £30 million loan for his wife’s company, whilst Bloomberg reports how Nadhim triggered a government security alert on a trip to Iraqi Kurdistan. This all comes as The Times details how the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser has been given access to the Zahawi’s complete tax settlement. Watch this space.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is back doing what he does best: leading the charge for Brexit. On Question Time last night, the former Brexit Opportunities Minister began a defence of Brexit’s benefits on democratic grounds, citing recent scandals in what he called the “corrupt, crooked European Parliament”. He then expanded on the potential for deregulation in the interest of consumers and argued for the liberalisation of wine imports. Cheaper booze is one platform we can all can get behind this Christmastime.