Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi to stand down at next general election

Mr Zahawi held several senior Cabinet positions including, briefly, chancellor Credit: PA

Nadhim Zahawi, the MP for Stratford-on-Avon, has announced he won't be standing in the next general election.

The former chancellor, who has been the MP for the area for 14 years, posted a statement on social media site X this morning, May 9.

In the statement Mr Zahawi said: "With the exception of convincing my wife to marry me, it has been the greatest honour of my life to represent the people of Stratford-on-Avon and serve as a Minister of the Crown.

"But after 14 years in Parliament, and multiple roles in Cabinet and Government, I have come to the decision not to stand again at the next general election. Every morning as I shave my head in the mirror, I have to pinch myself.

"How is it that a boy from Baghdad who came to these shores, fleeing persecution and unable to speak a word of English, was able to do as much as I have?"

Full statement:

He paid tribute to the people of Stratford-on-Avon, a constituency he has served since 2010.

He said was proud they could confide in him, adding: “Whether they are struggling against the dead hand of bureaucracy, or are stricken by tragedy, being able to help them in their time of need remains one of the most meaningful things I have ever done”.

Mr Zahawi was appointed as the health minister responsible for the deployment of coronavirus vaccines in November 2020, helping to lead the roll-out of vaccinations across the country.

He was education secretary from September 2021 to July 2022 and had a short stint as chancellor of the exchequer between July and September 2022.

Nadhim Zahawi served as vaccines minister during the pandemic Credit: PA

In 2023, Rishi Sunak sacked Mr Zahawi as Tory Party chairman after an ethics inquiry found he had broken the Ministerial Code several times over his tax affairs.

Mr Sunak had ordered an investigation into him by Sir Laurie Magnus, his independent adviser on ministers’ interests, following reports that the Tory chairman had paid a penalty as part of an estimated £4.8 million settlement dispute with HMRC.

Nadhim Zahawi played himself in the ITV drama, as he was parts of a 2015 Commons committee inquiry into the Horizon IT system. Credit: ITV, "Mr Bates vs The Post Office"

In January 2024, Mr Zahawi made a cameo in ITV drama "Mr Bates vs The Post Office", playing himself questioning then-Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells.

He later said he believes the Post Office has a "case to answer for corporate manslaughter" and "criminal wrongdoing".

Mr Zahawi is the 65th Tory MP – out of a total of 344 Conservatives in the Commons – to have announced they will not stand at the next election.

He said: "I have come to feel that the time is right for a new, energetic Conservative to fight for the honour of representing Stratford-upon-Avon.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow."

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