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Nadhim Zahawi says it was a mistake for Tories to force Boris Johnson out of 10th place | Nadhim Zahawi

Nadhim Zahawi says it was a mistake for Tories to force Boris Johnson out of 10th place |  Nadhim Zahawi

 


Former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said he and his Tory colleagues were wrong to oust Boris Johnson as prime minister in 2022.

Johnson resigned after less than three years in the No 10 role following more than 50 government resignations of MPs and staff and waves of backbenchers urging him to resign over his handling of the Chris Pincher affair and many other scandals. He resigned as an MP a year later.

Zahawi said in hindsight it was a bad decision to oust Johnson and described the former Tory leader as the most important leader since [Margaret] Thatcher.

I wish we had kept our cool, the MP for Stratford-on-Avon told the Sunday Times. Many colleagues were scared. If our colleagues had taken a step back and realized that Twitter wasn't the country, we probably would have made a very different decision.

A day after Johnson appointed Zahawi as chancellor, the MP went to the then prime minister and told him that the herd was on the run and that if he was not prepared to resign on his own terms, they were going to drag your carcass out of this place.

The following afternoon, Johnson announced the end of his term.

Zahawi, who was elected as an MP under David Cameron in 2010, became vaccines minister under Johnson in November 2020 and was later promoted to education secretary.

In July 2022, Johnson appointed Zahawi as chancellor after a series of resignations, including Rishi Sunak from No.11 and Sajid Javid as health secretary.

Asked whether the Conservatives would have been better off if Johnson had survived, Zahawi replied: I don't know. I wish we would have kept our cool, yes.

I honestly felt that the combination of anti-Boris campaigners and our opponents in many ways appreciated that the parliamentary party was so scared. I think if people had just taken a breath, taken a step back and audited the accomplishments.

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If we look back at the number of prime ministers who have had to deal with Brexit, a global pandemic and, of course, the economic recovery beyond that: to top it all off, the war on our continent, where it ruled the world.

This tumultuous period will be covered in Zahawis' memoir, The Boy from Baghdad: My Journey from Waziriyah to Westminster, which is due to be published in August. Zahawi announced that he would step down in the next elections, one of 64 curators do this.

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/article/2024/may/18/nadhim-zahawi-says-it-was-a-mistake-for-tories-to-force-boris-johnson-from-no-10

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