Sunak to unveil mini reshuffle as he looks to appoint Tory chair – reports

The Prime Minister could name a successor for Nadhim Zahawi, after he sacked him as Tory chair over his tax affairs.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to announce a mini reshuffle of his Cabinet as soon as Tuesday.

The Prime Minister is expected to appoint a new Tory Party chair, after he sacked Nadhim Zahawi over his tax affairs more than a week ago.

The potential overhaul could be “relatively limited”, with a “domino” effect caused by the naming of a successor for Mr Zahawi, The Times reported, citing a Government source.

Nadhim Zahawi
Nadhim Zahawi was sacked as Conservative Party chairman over his tax affairs controversy (Victoria Jones/PA)

The newspaper reported that a Whitehall shake-up is also on the cards, with Mr Sunak considering breaking up the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy into separate ministries.

Such a move would follow his pledge to reinstate a stand­alone energy department during his campaign for the Tory leadership.

The Sun reported that business and trade could be merged, and a new science and digital department created, leaving culture and sport as a separate unit.

A reconfiguration would also affect the composition of the Cabinet, raising questions over the future of Business Secretary Grant Shapps and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch.

Dominic Raab is expected to survive a potential reshuffle this week, as Mr Sunak has indicated he would wait for the outcome of an inquiry into the Deputy Prime Minister’s conduct before taking any action.

Mr Raab, who is also the Justice Secretary, is being investigated by Senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC over bullying allegations – with dozens of officials thought to be involved in eight formal complaints. Mr Raab has denied the bullying allegations.

Cabinet ministers thought to be under consideration to succeed Mr Zahawi include Mr Shapps, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and trade minister Greg Hands.

Downing Street declined to comment on the reshuffle claims.

Mr Sunak’s pledge to govern with “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level” when he entered No 10 more than a 100 days ago has been dented by the furore over Mr Zahawi’s financial affairs and the bullying claims dogging Mr Raab.

The Prime Minister sacked Mr Zahawi after an investigation by Sir Laurie Magnus, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, concluded that he had breached the ministerial code by failing to be transparent about the multimillion-pound settlement with HM Revenue & Customs reached while he was chancellor, which included paying a penalty.

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