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Who is Nadhim Zahawi?

Over the past couple of days, Nadhim Zahawi has been in the news due to him having to pay millions of pounds in tax to settle a dispute with Revenue and Customs.

Before Nadhim Zahawi was a politician he helped co-found YouGov in 2000. Mr Zahawi didn't take any shares for himself, unlike his co-founder who had just over 40% of the shares. However, a similar size of shareholding was allocated to Balshore Investments Ltd, in Gibraltar.

YouGov's 2009 annual report said: "Balshore Investments Ltd is the family trust of Nadhim Zahawi, an executive director of YouGov PLC."

A representative for Mr Zahawi said: "Neither he nor his direct family are beneficiaries of Balshore Investments or any trust associated with it.

"Mr Zahawi has always said that he will answer any questions from HMRC, which he has always done."

By 2018, when YouGov had become a very successful company accounts suggest Balshore Investments Ltd had sold shares it had held in the company for a total of up to £27 million. If the amount was liable to UK Capital gains tax, the tax due would have been in the region of £3.7 million.

When this came to light a couple of days ago, an inquiry was made into Mr Zahawi's dispute with HMRC. This inquiry led to Mr Zahawi being sacked as Tory party chairman on 29th April. Mr Zahawi's "omissions" of information constituted a "serious failure to meet the standards set out in the ministerial code", Sir Laurie, who was in charge of the inquiry, wrote in his report. Sir Laurie was also critical of the MP for describing news stories about his tax affairs as "smears" in July 2022 and failing to correct the record until earlier this month.


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