Conservative Leadership Candidate Nadhim Zahawi Says He's Unsure How Wealthy He Is
Nadhim Zahawi said he had been "smeared" by his political opponents
3 min read
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has admitted he is "wealthy" but doesn't want to get into specifics because he would "probably get it wrong".
The former businessman said he was the "beneficiary of the British dream" but refused to put an estimate on his wealth because he believed he could "get it wrong".
Speaking to Sky News, Zahawi said he was proud of his business career, and said people who invest in the UK should be "celebrated".
"I have been very lucky, I am self-made, I have done really well by investing in the UK and then of course my wife continues to invest in the UK directly in UK companies," he said.
"We've grown our investment here, I think that is a good thing and should be celebrated. I am the beneficiary of the British dream but I am wealthy, absolutely right."
But the Tory leadership hopeful refused to divulge specifics about his finances. "I don't think it is right to go into numbers because I will probably get it wrong...because these things move round," he added.
Zahawi, a co-founder of polling company, YouGov, has already faced questions over his finances after it was claimed there were investigations into his tax affairs, but claimed the rumours were "smears" put out by his political opponents.
"I was clearly being smeared. I was told that the Serious Fraud Office, the National Crime Agency, HMRC were looking into me," he said.
"I'm not aware of this. I've always declared my taxes - I've paid my taxes in the UK. I will answer any questions HMRC has of me."
"But I will go further. I will make a commitment today, that if I am prime minister the right thing to do is publish my accounts annually. That is the right thing to do because we need to take this issue off the table."
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has become the lastest big Cabinet name to join the race to replace Boris Johnson launching her campaign to reduce taxes from "day one" in the job.
She is one of the 11 candidates who has put their name forward, with Home Secretary Priti Patel widely expected to annouce her candidacy later today.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Truss said she would cut corporation tax, change the business rates regime and cancel the National Insurance rise brought in by former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is also running for the top job.
In a criticism of the government's recent record, she said: "I will fight the election as a Conservative and govern as a Conservative.
"Under my leadership, I would start cutting taxes from day one to take immediate action to help people deal with the cost of living."
She added: "It isn't right to be putting up taxes now.
"I would reverse the National Insurance increase that came in during April, make sure we keep corporation tax competitive so we can attract business and investment into Britain, and put the COVID debt on a longer-term footing."
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