Today’s news summary – Paper Talk
The sacking of Nadhim Zahawi as Tory party chairman over a penalty he was forced to pay to HMRC dominates Monday’s papers.
The Daily Mirror’s headline describes the Tory party as “Rotten To The Core.” The paper brands PM Rishi Sunak a “dithering leader” who finally made the decision to sack Zahawi after weeks of reports about his tax affairs.
The Independent asks why it took so long – considering it started covering the story more than six months ago. But a friend of Mr Sunak’s tells the Times that the PM “won’t hesitate to act when there’s impropriety” and that he plans to take a “zero-tolerance approach to future breaches of the ministerial code”.
The Times also reports that Mr Zahawi is “furious” about his sacking – and is considering issuing a formal response to the report by the PM’s ethics chief, Sir Laurie Magnus, which sealed his fate.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Zahawi was given “one 30-minute meeting to defend himself” and his allies believe the report was rushed out “for political expediency.” Whilst the Sun says Mr Zahawi only has himself to blame, critising him for taking an “undignified swipe” at the press covering the tax story. “This was a disaster entirely of his own making”, it declares in its editorial, adding that “it is right he has gone”.