by Martin Odoni

A corrupt Tory getting his (the actual sleazebags are usually male) comeuppance is always pleasant news to wake to on a Sunday morning, even if Nadim Zahawi’s demise as Minister Without Portfolio simply means his doing of nothing is now completely official.

But I have a demand for all Conservative leaders; Sir Laurie Magnus’ investigation explicitly found Zahawi guilty of a ‘major breach of the Ministerial Code.’ That means that with Zahawi’s denials, both back in July and in recent weeks, he explicitly lied to the country, and (supposedly) the Prime Minister. This led Sunak to saying proven untruths in the House of Commons. Now, I am of course being immensely generous to Sunak by the implication that he was not fully aware that Zahawi was – and let us put it kindly – as guilty as a CIA agent standing next to a fallen Government. I have no doubt that Sunak did know, and Sir Laurie’s investigation was purely an exercise in allowing the Prime Minister to act surprised.

Zahawi – useless at everything, useless at nothing

But officially Sunak did not know. This raises doubts about his competence to govern, especially appointing a man whose financial conduct was already in serious doubt to be his Party Chairman. But that is a matter to be addressed afterwards. For now, the focus must remain on Zahawi. To reiterate, his denials have now been established as definitive lies. It is not enough that he is banned from the Cabinet for a year or two of sitting in the naughty corner on the back benches. Zahawi’s attempt to evade accountability means he must be banned from ever pulling a Priti-Patel type comeback after the heat is turned down. He must be permanently banned from ever being a Minister, or even a Shadow Minister, for the rest of his life.

As for Michael Gove’s idiotic attempt while talking to Laura Kuenssberg this morning to convince everyone that Zahawi should be ‘forgiven’; give it a rest, Pob! Zahawi was openly threatening to sue anybody who even asked him about the financial improprieties.

The Tories are a cesspit of brutal punishments for ‘the Other.’ How ‘forgiving’ are Tories of desperate refugees trying to seek sanctuary in the UK when all legal avenues into the country have been cut off? How ‘forgiving’ are Tories when they try to take away even the right of ordinary people to make even peaceful protests? How ‘forgiving’ are Tories who are always demanding more powers for the police and saying it is time to get tough on crime, and calling for harsher sentencing? Why is it always, when it is one of their own, Tories suddenly start saying, “Well we all make mistakes, don’t we? Let’s move on…”? (Question entirely rhetorical.)

Zahawi has not even apologised, so no. No forgiveness for Zahawi. He should be in court on charges of fraud.