Nadhim Zahawi tells Boris Johnson to ‘do right thing’ and resign

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Mr Zahawi dramatically took over as Chancellor after Rishi Sunak’s resignation on Tuesday in a move which almost saved Boris Johnson’s Premiership. But within hours he was urging the Prime Minister to go when he relaised that Conservative MPs were determined to oust him. He made his name as the vaccines minister who masterminded the fastest rollout in the world and was until recently a respected Education Secretary, but now the man who came to Britain as a child refugee from Iraq without a word of English is expected to be a frontrunner for the highest position in the country.

Mr Zahawi will lay out his vision on Monday which will include fast-tracking Brexit opportunities and cutting taxes. has seen the early statement prepared for his launch bid which it can reveal now.

He will say: “The Conservative Party has made me who I am today.

“It gave me an education, it provided my family with a home and, most importantly, it provided hope.

“Making the most of my education, with the security of a safe home, I grew up with the understanding that nothing was impossible.

“Society is a reflection of its leaders, and under Margaret Thatcher, the Britain I knew was full of boundless optimism and opportunity.

“That has been lost and a change is needed. The country is confronting some of the greatest challenges for a lifetime.

“My aim is a simple one: to provide the opportunities that were afforded to my generation, to all Britons, whoever you are and wherever you come from. To steady the ship and to stabilise the economy.”

Mr Zahawi was a Brexit supporter in the 2016 EU referendum and the Stratford-upon-Avon MP famously mocked Emily Thornberry in the Commons Chamber after she had Tweeted disaprraging white van drivers and people who fly the flag of St George supporting England.

He will say on Monday: “Thanks to Brexit, we are now a free nation. Let’s not just talk about the opportunities that follow, let’s take them. If a young boy, who came here aged 11 without a word of English, can serve at the highest levels of Her Majesty’s Government and run to be the next Prime Minister, anything is possible.”

He will be putting forward a new vision for the party and country with the following pledges: “First, the burden of tax is simply too high. As an entrepreneur and businessman, I know that lower taxes are how we create a thriving and dynamic economy. Taxes for individuals, families and business need to be lower, and will be on my watch.

“Second, Having been born in Iraq and fled the dangers of Saddam, I know that security, safety and freedom are things that we can never take for granted. That’s why defence spending needs to rise in response to the barbarism of Putin’s war in Ukraine. I will always put the defence of the nation first.

“Third, I will continue my education reforms that are improving schools across the country, keep pushing our schools revolution and deliver a great education for every child. I will also continue to focus on letting children be children, protecting them from damaging and inappropriate nonsense being forced on them by radical activists.”

Mr Zahawi will be clear that the previous Government made mistakes.

He will add: “We, as Conservatives, must trust Britons to do what is best for themselves.

“Overseeing the highest tax burden since 1949 is not the Conservative way. We cannot tax our way into prosperity.

“I will guarantee that the next generation will be afforded the best education possible.

“Combined, this will begin the journey towards hope. A more prosperous nation, one which can provide the best opportunities to its next generation.

“A nation where your only ceiling is yourself – not the state, or society. The only thing that can hold you back is the limits of your imagination.

“We know it is not Labour or the Lib Dems who offer the country solutions. The only solution can be empowering the British people, regardless of where they live or where they come from; what matters is where we are going.

“I will be talking more about my vision for our party and the country in the next few days and weeks – but for now, there is work to be done.”


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Mr Zahawi is up against four other declared candidates – Attorney General Suella Braverman, Levelling Up minister Kemi Badenoch, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat.

More are expected to declare in the next 48 hours including trade minister Penny Mordaunt and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

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