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Nadhim Zahawi Bows Out: Former Chancellor and Vaccines Minister to Step Down at Next General Election



Nadhim Zahawi: The ex-chancellor and former vaccines minister has announced he will not seek re-election in the upcoming general election. The representative for Stratford-on-Avon becomes the 64th sitting Conservative MP to decide against running for another term.

Political journalist @alixculbertson

Thursday, May 9, 2024, 11:

Nadhim Zahawi, who previously served as the vaccines minister during the COVID pandemic and as chancellor, has declared that he will not run in the upcoming general election.

The Conservative representative for Stratford-on-Avon, serving since 2010, referenced his "most renowned constituent" when he penned: "Seek within yourself; tap into your heart and inquire what it understands."

He stated: "Now is the perfect moment for a vibrant, new Conservative to strive for the privilege of representing Stratford-on-Avon."

"He added, 'Parting is such sweet sorrow,' quoting from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet."

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Mr. Zahawi has become the 64th Conservative MP to declare that he will not be contesting in the upcoming general election, anticipated to occur later this year.

Additionally, six former Conservative MPs who were elected in 2019 but now serve as independents have declared their departure from Parliament.

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Mr. Zahawi oversaw the distribution of the COVID vaccine and served as the chancellor for a brief period during the summer of 2022. Prior to this, he held the position of education secretary for nearly a year.

The Member of Parliament vied to replace Boris Johnson as the leader of the Conservative Party but was ousted in the initial voting round. Subsequently, he endorsed Liz Truss. Upon her victory, she appointed him as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, and Minister for Equalities.

In his statement, Mr. Zahawi acknowledged, "The errors I made were my own, while my achievements were possible through collaboration with and guidance of remarkable individuals."

He expressed gratitude to his family and friends, particularly his wife Lana, for their support and affection.

Rishi Sunak appointed the MP as the chairman of the Conservative Party, but he was later removed from his position due to not revealing that he was under investigation by HMRC and the National Crime Agency for a large-scale tax issue connected to the sale of shares in his survey company YouGov during his tenure as chancellor.

He described his mistake as "unintentional and careless," after previously stating that he was unaware of the investigation and had settled all his tax obligations.

In 2013, Mr. Zahawi issued an apology and agreed to reimburse a portion of a £5,822.27 claim for energy bills, following revelations that taxpayers were funding the electric power for the stables on his Warwickshire property.

The individual, now 56, was originally from Baghdad, Iraq. His family left the country when he was 11, seeking refuge from Saddam Hussein's regime, and relocated to London.

He further stated: "Each morning while I'm shaving my head, I find myself having to give a little pinch to make sure I'm not dreaming."

"How did a young boy from Baghdad, who arrived on this coast as a refugee, unable to utter a single word in English, manage to accomplish all that I have?"

"Despite the difficulties we face, this nation remains the finest in the world, and it allowed me to realize my British dream. Here, I established a successful UK company, YouGov, and here, I brought up my incredible family."

The parliamentarian expressed feeling "tremendously honored" to have served "his nation in various governmental capacities," as he enumerated his duties, among them overseeing the coordination of the Queen's funeral.

In 2017, Mr. Zahawi was barred from entering the United States to see his children at university, following a travel ban imposed by then-President Donald Trump on several predominantly Muslim countries. This was due to Mr. Zahawi's place of birth, Iraq.

He recently featured unexpectedly in an ITV drama focusing on the Post Office IT controversy, portraying himself as he interrogated former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells during a Commons committee hearing.

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