London Scandals surrounding Secretary-General Nadim Zahavi and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson are increasingly threatening British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party. In the Zahavi case, it is alleged that during his tenure as finance minister, he may have negotiated with officials to settle a tax issue worth crores.
Johnson is said to be independent. For critics, the cases are only the tip of the iceberg for the conservative Tories, who have been repeatedly accused of corruption and backward collusion.
After three corruption-ridden years under Boris Johnson, Chung wanted to do things differently. The 42-year-old declared integrity, honesty and transparency when he went to Downing Street at the end of October. But the first existence is disastrous. The deputy prime minister and one of the justice ministers have been accused of bullying by several former staff members, including his close confidant Dominic Raab. Demands are being raised for cabinet member Zahavi to resign.
Finally, Sunak received a penalty notice for the second time in about nine months: he filmed himself in a moving car for a short video – without wearing a seat belt. In April 2022, he had already paid a fine for his involvement in the “Particate” affair – when he was finance minister.
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The opposition believes that the Zahavi case in particular is a test for Sunak. “He promised a new broom,” Labor politician Pat McFadden told Sky News on Sunday – and then added: But what good is a new broom if incidents like this are dismissed with a shrug.
Sunak announced that Zahavi’s tax affair was over – although much was clear, the politician’s statement raised new questions. Rachel Reeves, McFadden’s party colleague, criticized Sunak on the BBC for being too weak to prevent any corruption.
In fact, Sunak never had the full support of his party. At base, go-getter Johnson is still popular, and Sunak should satisfy many groups in the division.
Indeed, the Prime Minister is due to return to active politics after the turmoil surrounding Johnson and his short-lived successor, Liz Truss. “He is built like a hedge fund manager, a leader who carefully analyzes the situation and then offers appropriate solutions,” the Telegraph newspaper recently opined. “This magic of the accomplished Rishi begins to dissipate.”
After all, the scandals are a distraction and don’t get through Sunak’s news. Instead of debating the content, the only issue now is whether or not the Prime Minister is bent. Even the massive wave of strikes that paralyze the country again and again cannot be brought under control by Sunak. He refuses to speak. “Rishi Sunak is missing,” said Sharon Graham, general secretary of the Unite union.
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The opposition has long been demanding fresh elections. The return of Boris Johnson, who is considered to be Sunak’s opponent, has been repeatedly discussed. However, this risk is now shrinking again.
Because Johnson is constantly embroiled in his own scandals and affairs. Now he has rejected a Sunday Times report which suggested a link between Tory donor Richard Sharpe’s appointment as BBC chairman and his help in building finance for Johnson. According to the report, Sharp helped his long-time friend arrange an £800,000 (€911,000) loan guarantee. Shortly afterwards, Johnson proposed Sharp for the BBC post.
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