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UK: The Tories are not out of crisis

According to media reports, 55-year-old Zahavi has paid a seven-figure sum to the National Tax Commission to settle a dispute over his tax affairs. Zahavi also admitted this, but without specifying the amount. The former minister is accused of using a foreign company based in Gibraltar as a partner in polling firm YouGov, which he co-founded. Zahavi was most recently a member of the cabinet as a minister without portfolio.

In a letter to Zahavi, Sunak wrote that he assumed office as prime minister to lead a government that stands for integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level. An inquiry he ordered revealed that Zahavi had “grossly violated ministerial rules”. According to the investigation, Zahavi made false statements about his conflict with tax officials. He said he had recently settled the dispute with the tax authorities.

AP/Kin Cheung

Zahavi is said to have deliberately given false information

“Return of Tory Swamp”

The move is another setback for the Conservative Party, which is struggling with a low voter turnout ahead of next year’s general election. “The Return of the Tory Swamp” was the headline in the Spectator, considered a conservative newspaper.

Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer slammed his opponent Chung: “Is he starting to wonder if this job is too big for him?” It’s not the first minister to quit cabinet in the first hundred days of Sunak’s government: former minister of state Gavin Williamson has resigned over allegations of bullying.

Third PM in a year

Sunak should have brought a breath of fresh air and stability to the government, but the Tories have not recovered from the trials and tribulations of recent years. Sunak declared “integrity, professionalism and accountability at all levels” when he took office on October 25 as the third prime minister in less than a year. Michael Gove, the influential construction minister, promised at the time that the government would “be as boring as possible”.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

AP/UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

After his chaotic predecessors, Sunak must bring calm to his own teams

First, Sunak was able to calm financial markets that had been plunged into chaos by the erratic economic policies of his immediate predecessor, Liz Truss. Among other things, he promised to reduce the debt and reduce waiting times in health care. So far, Sunak is said to have brought at least some measure of calm to his own ranks, but people have been in turmoil for months.

Strikes and discontent among the people

Earlier this year, reports that 300 to 500 people a week die in the UK due to lack of timely or adequate care during emergencies hit the headlines. Ian Higginson, vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, dismissed the suggestion that the difficulties were temporary: “When you’re there you know it’s not a short-term problem, it’s a long-term problem.” The British Medical Association, a federation of nurses, echoed the alarming reports.

The government blamed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and flu epidemics and promised to do more for hospitals. In his New Year’s greetings, Sunak singled out the NHS as one of his priorities

The NHS has been hit by severe austerity measures over the years. There have been several strikes recently by health workers, including nursing staff and emergency services. They demand higher wages and better working conditions. Despite record inflation, the government has refused to raise wages.

Expert sees “weak leader”.

Tim Bale, a political scientist at London’s prestigious Queen Mary University, told DPA that Sunak avoided much opposition within the party because he caved in to the demands of opponents within the party. “He showed himself to be a weak leader because he did not fire or hire many corrupt cabinet members,” Bale said before Zahavi was sacked. There are allegations of intimidation against Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.

Sunak is showing himself to be financially astute, Bale continued. However, his policy was not responsible for the slightly lower inflation and slower economic growth. On the collective bargaining dispute in the public sector, Sunak is demonstrably tough. But voters’ sympathies are with the striking nurses, and Sunak comes off as “average” because of her toughness, Bale said.

A great legacy from Johnson and Truss

However, Bale Sunak is not solely responsible for the party’s poor position, which is lagging far behind the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls. Sunak “inherited a terrible economic and political position from his predecessors and had no choice but to present himself as a cleaner of the mess.” However, it is difficult to hold the corrupt Boris Johnson and Truss responsible for the mess, as they have many followers in Parliament.

Bale said things are currently “very bleak” for the party and Sunak, according to the polls. On February 1, Sunak was elected as the new party leader by the Tory caucus, a day after he became Prime Minister for 100 days. The next general election is scheduled to be held in 2024.