Nadhim Zahawi

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Nadhim Zahawi

In office: May.2010 — present;

Nadhim Zahawi has been MP for Stratford-on-Avon since 2010. In the GE-2017, he retained his seat, with a majority of 11,346.
Committees and APPGs
Foreign Affairs Committee
All Party Parliamentary Groups:
Channel 4, Chair;
Foreign Affairs, Vice-Chair;
Transatlantic Trade, Vice-Chair;
Water Safety and Drowning Prevention, Chair
As at Mar.2018
Parliamentary Record
They Work For You – overview
The Public Whip – user-friendly
The Public Whip – attendance
TheyWorkForYou – pro/anti stances
Hansard – all votes cast

Party website:

First Floor, 3 Trinity Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BL
Tel: 01789-264-362; 01789-292-723
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020-7219-7159 page
Write to your MP:
Social Media:
Twitter: @NadhimZahawi
Facebook: Nadhim Zahawi MP
Salary and Expenses
Base salary:£76,011 per year
Other Income:TheyWorkForYou
Office Costs:£7,680.72
As at IPSA, Mar.2018
Wikipedia: Nadhim ZahawiWikipedia-W.svg

Nadhim Zahawi is a Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon since 2010. He is of Kurdish origin, moved from Iraq to the UK in his childhood, and has maintained contact with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq throughout his extensive career.[1]

Prior to entering Parliament, Zahawi had a career in business as European Marketing Director for Smith & Brooks Ltd. Together with Stephan Shakespeare, he co-founded YouGov, the market research firm which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. Zahawi was YouGov's CEO from 2005-2010.[2]

Following the 2018 Cabinet reshuffle, Zahawi was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education.

Political Timeline

Jan.2018Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Education[3]
May.2017Re-elected as MP for Stratford-on-Avon, with a majority of 20,958.[4]
Mar.2016Voted with 308 other Conservative MPs to cut disabled and sick benefits to £74 per week.
Jan.2016Voted against Teresa Pearce's amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill 2016, which would place a duty on landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for habitation when let and remain fit during the course of the tenancy. Zahawi is himself a landlord.[5]
Dec.2015–Jan.2018Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
Nov.2015Co-chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board [6]
May.2015Re-elected as MP for Stratford-on-Avon, with a majority of 22,876.
Jan.2015The Kurdistan APPG visited Kurdistan, with Boris Johnson in tow. The Kurdistan Regional Government kindly paid for the trip; it also provides "additional administrative services" for the APPG. Emails from the Foreign Office say the trip had been "cooked up" by Zahawi alone.[7] Johnson later called for closer ties between the UK and the region.[8]
Jun.2014–Mar.2018Foreign Affairs Committee
Jan.2014Strongly criticised the govt's National Planning Policy Framework for loopholes allowing "intense attacks" by "rapacious developers".[9]
Dec.2013Benefits Reform: introduced a 2015 Manifesto plan to limit Child Benefit to families' first two children. Families earning less than £30,000 would also be denied Child Tax Credit. Mr Zahawi considers the safety net to be "a straitjacket".[10]
Nov.2013Dropped as chair of Citizens' Advice Parliamentary meeting into the ethics of giving prepay meters to the vulnerable after his MP Expenses' claims were reported.[11]
Oct.2013Joined the Number 10 Policy Board.
Jul.2011–Mar.2012Privacy and Injunctions, Joint Committee
Jul.2010–Mar.2015Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on Arms Export Controls
May.2010First elected as MP for Stratford-on-Avon.
May.1997Contested the Erith & Thamesmead constituency; defeated.
1994–2006Wandsworth Councillor for West Putney, London.
Vice-chair of the Planning Committee.
Chairman of the Policy Consultative Committee
Chairman of the Conservative Area Committee.

Previous All-Party Parliamentary Groups

  • Armed Forces (2012–)
  • Atrial Fibrillation (2015–)
  • Channel 4 content (2015-Jan.2018)
  • China (2012–)
  • Chinese in Britain (2016-Mar.2017)
  • British-Iraq (2012-Oct.2016)
  • British-Maldives (2012–)
  • British-Ukraine (2012–)
  • European Union-United States Trade and Investment (2015-Feb.2016)
  • Fashions and Textile (2015–)
  • Fire Safety and Rescue (2015–)
  • Friends of Syria (2015–)
  • Funerals and Bereavement (2010–)
  • Hepatology (2015–)
  • International Mining (2015–)
  • Kurdistan Region in Iraq (2012-Dec.2017)
  • Markets (2012–)
  • Queen's Diamond Jubilee (2012)
  • Rural Services (2015–)
  • Transatlantic Trade (2017-Jan.2018)
  • Water Safety and Drowning Prevention (2012-Jan.2018)


Controversies & Conflicts

MPs Expenses

For 2012/2013, Zahawi claimed £170,234, making him the 130th highest out of 650 MPs.[12] He explained in his local newspaper that the "vast bulk" of his expenses was on staffing costs.[13]

Nov.2013: Zahawi "apologised unreservedly" after The Sunday Mirror reported that he had claimed £5,822 expenses for electricity for his horse riding school stables and a yard manager's mobile home.[14] Zahawi said the mistake arose because he received a single bill covering both a meter in the stables and one in his house. Mr Zahawi repaid £4,876.[11] An article in The Independent also drew attention to the number of "trivial" items on Zahawi's expenses.[15]

Conflicts of Interest

Gulf Keystone

Since 2012, Mr Zahawi has belonged to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. This APPG is part-funded by Gulf Keystone Petroleum InternationalWikipedia-W.svg, whose parent company Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd is one of the region's biggest oil firms.[16] The Kurdistan Regional Government, which provides "additional administrative services" for the APPG, paid for the APPG's visit in Nov.2013, when the APPG visited Taq Taq oil field run by Genel Energy. Mr Zahawi became a major shareholder in Genel Energy while promoting UK-Kurdistan economic links in his role as co-chair of the Kurdistan APPG.[17] Mr Zahawi says he sold his shares in Genel on Apr.30.2014.
Dec.2017: Stepped down from Gulf Keystone and disposed of his shareholdings. Strangely, the share price dropped through the floor in early Jan.2018, with modest investors losing their shirts. The firm had paid executives enormous salaries, while losing 99% of its value and ratcheting up vast debts.
Jan.2016: He received a bonus from Gulf Keystone of £253,000+.[18] In Jul.2016, his pay from Gulf Keystone was increased to £29,600 per month.[18]
Aug.2015: Reports alleged that Zahawi had been buying crude at a very low price from ISIL terrorists and transporting it to Israel and European markets through Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea.[19] Zahawi sued successfully for libel; Press TV were order to pay damages plus legal costs of £338,483.[20]
Jul.2015: Recruited by Gulf Keystone for his knowledge of the region's complex politics as Chief Strategy Officer at a salary of £20,125 per month for 8–21 hours per week.[18] Zahawi enticed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to visit Kurdistan and support the Kurdish position.

Zahawi & Zahawi

Zahawi & Zahawi Ltd is a business consultancy company registered with Companies House as "other business support service activities", incorporated on Jun.16.2010. Mr Zahawi has continued to run his business whilst being an MP. On Jan.2018, he resigned as a Director and transferred his 50% holdings to his wife.[21] Clients include:
  • YouGov, a research and consulting firm, of which he was co-founder and continues to be a registered shareholder.
  • Talisman Energy, a multinational oil and gas exploration and production company (2014)
  • Iraq Project & Business Development Ltd (IPBD), a Dubai-based property development, steel manufacture, and general trading company. Mr Zahawi's father was Chairman of the company;[22] his grandfather was an Iraqi Government minister and governor of the Central Bank of Iraq.[23] This information no longer appears on their website.
  • Afren plcWikipedia-W.svg, an international oil exploration and production company (2014)
  • Graticule Asset Management Asia (GAMA), a Singapore-based fund management business (Jan.2017)


Dec.2017: Zahawi disposed of his shareholdings.
2000: Co-founded YouGov with Stephan Shakespeare; remained as Chief Executive until Feb.2010. Zahawi's company Balshore Investments, based in tax haven Gibraltar, was one of YouGov's biggest shareholders. Balshore received around £112,000 in dividends from YouGov in 2017.[24]


SThree is an international specialist recruitment business, which supplies staff to the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups via a subsidiary called "Real Staffing".[25]
Oct.2017: Resigned from the board of SThree, but is still a shareholder.[21]
Nov.2015: Zahawi's monthly salary rose to £3,333. Meanwhile, SThree has sucked £2.6m from the NHS in 10 months.
2010–2012: Supported the govt's NHS reforms in the Health and Social Care Bill, which established Clinical Commissioning Groups. During the debate on the Bill, Zahawi helped it pass with a crucial speech where he called the it a "brilliant piece of legislation". After it passed, Sthree received £2.6m to profit out of the NHS.[26] Mr Nahawi asserted that "the GPs in my constituency are absolutely passionate about the reforms, as do 87% of the country", despite the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners calling for the Bill's withdrawal.
Jul.2008: Appointed to the board of SThree as a Non-Executive Director, with a monthly salary of £2,917 for 7 hours work per month; he is also a shareholder.

British Telecom

Feb.2017: became a shareholder.

Offshore Links

Jan.2017: A Guardian report details close financial ties between Gibraltar-based Balshore Investments and Berkford Investments and Nadhim Zahawi. Despite the two companies holding YouGov shares, transfers of money between himself and the companies, and multiple property transactions, Mr Zahawi does not declare a connection to either company in the MPs' Register of Interests.[24]. He denies using offshore companies to reduce his tax burden.[27]


Jan.2018: Presidents Club Charity Dinner: Mr Zahawi arrived at 8pm and left at 9:35 as "he felt uncomfortable". The timing means he watched 130 women parade on stage for the male-only diners, then joined them at dinner. However, he said "I did not see any of the horrific events reported by the FT."[28][29] While he was given a “dressing down” by Tory chief whip Julian Smith, he will not be stepping down from his ministerial position or referred for an investigation over whether his attendance breached the ministerial code of conduct.[30]

It has been said that the Conservatives are unable to do anything more than mouth platitudes about the situation, since two of the Club's Trustees are major donors to the party. David Meller, who resigned as a board member at the Department for Education over the scandal, has donated £18,773. Bruce Ritchie has donated around £203,500.[31]


  1. ^ Kurdistan delegation led by Tory millionaire Nadhim Zahawi raises concerns that MPs will be vulnerable to lobbying. The APPG for Kurdistan, chaired by Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, was partly funded by one of the region's biggest oil firms. The locations they visited included an oil field operated by another energy firm in which Mr Zahawi has shares. The Independent, Paul Gallagher, May.12.2014
  2. ^ About Nadhim., May.06.2010. Original archived
  3. ^ Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi given ministerial role in reshuffle. Banbury Guardian, Jack Duggan, Jan.09.2018
  4. ^ UK General Election 2017 results: Stratford on Avon held by Conservative Nadhim Zahawi. Conservative Nadhim Zahawi holds on to seat but there is swing to Labour. Birmingham Live, James Rodger, Jun.09.2017
  5. ^ Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation. Labour MP Teresa Pearce's amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill 2016, which would place a duty on landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for habitation when let and remain fit during the course of the tenancy, was defeated by 312 votes to 219. Marcus Jones said the govt believed that homes should be fit for human habitation, but did not want to pass a new law that would explicitly require it. Other ministers claimed the proposal would impose "unnecessary regulation" on landlords, and that it would push up rents. Nadhim Zahawi, himself a landlord, was one of those who voted "No". The Independent, Jon Stone , Jan.12.2016
  6. ^ Profile: New children's minister Nadhim Zahawi. Children & Young People Now, Tristan Donovan, Jan.11.2018
  7. ^ Presidents Club link exposes Zahawi’s complicated businessman-cum-diplomat-cum-politician role. Middle East Monitor, Alasair Sloan, Jan.29.2018
  8. ^ MP stands to make £1.5m from Kurdistan oil company sale. Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has close ties to area and led series of visits by UK MPs and then London mayor Boris Johnson. The Guardian, Holly Watt, Dec.14.2016
  9. ^ Support our planning reforms or quit policy board, Number 10 tells Nadhim Zahawi. Nadhim Zahawi told to support the Government's planning reforms or quit as a Number 10 policy adviser. The Telegraph, Christopher Hope, Peter Dominiczak, Jan.10.2014
  10. ^ Plan to cap benefit at two children: New mothers with three children would lose £700 in £5bn welfare crackdown. Mail Online, Simon Walters, Dec.14.2013
  11. ^ a b Nadhim Zahawi MP dropped by charity after claiming £5,882 expenses for energy bills, The Mirror, Alex Paterson, Nov.22.2013
  12. ^ Stratford MP explains his £170,000 expenses. The Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, Matt Wilson, Sept.17.2013 (
  13. ^ Nadhim Zahawi - my parliamentary expenses explained. The Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, Nadhim Zahawi, Nov.07.2013 (
  14. ^ 340 MPs get their energy bills paid on EXPENSES to heat second homes - with one claiming £5,822. A Sunday Mirror investigation exposed millionaire Tory who claimed a staggering £5,822 in just 12 months – more than four times the average household energy bill. The Mirror, Dominic Herbert, Ben Glaze, Nov.03.2013
  15. ^ Every little helps Nadhim Zahawi: MP who claimed most on energy bills also received 31p for paperclips Among items charged to the taxpayer were 53p to buy a hole punch, 63p for ballpoint pens and 89p for a stapler. The Independent, Adam Withnall, Nov.11.2013
  16. ^ Nadhim Zahawi Has A Very Interesting Second Job... Gulf Keystone Petroleum hold the licence for 75% of oil production in the Sharikam oilfield in Northern Iraq. The Sharikan Oilfield is one of the largest oil fields discovered in the last 50 years ... with an estimated lifespan of 80 to 100 years. The Prole Star, Momentum Rotherham, Oct.16.2017
  17. ^ Kurdistan delegation led by Tory millionaire Nadhim Zahawi raises concerns that MPs will be vulnerable to lobbying, Zahawi leads cross-party group to oil field run by company he has shares in. The Independent, Paul Gallagher, May.12.2014
  18. ^ a b c MP to quit his £350,000 part-time role as senior adviser with Gulf Keystone and to focus on his work in Parliament. Mail Online, Ruth Sunderland, Dec.24.2017
  19. ^ UK MP Nadhim Zahawi Behind ISIL Oil Trade. Middle East Press, Aug.08.2015
  20. ^ Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi wins £200,000 payout from Press TV over 'fake news' Isis claims. A backbench Tory MP has been awarded a £200,000 libel payout after an Iranian-affiliated broadcaster falsely accused him of helping to fund so-called Islamic State. PoliticsHome, Sebastian Whale, May.05.2017
  21. ^ a b Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi quits family firm after being made Education Minister in last week's reshuffle. This Is Money, Jamie Nimmo, Jan.13.2018
  22. ^ Who we are, (, retrieved Sept.05.2017
  23. ^ The Zahawi Family, (, retrieved Sept.05.2017
  24. ^ a b Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi 'closely linked to two tax-haven-based companies'. Guardian investigation reveals financial ties to Balshore Investments and Berkford Investments, both based in Gibraltar. The Guardian] Holly Watt, Jan.04.2017
  25. ^ Firm with links to top Tory sucks £2.6 million from NHS 'reforms' he helped push through. MP Nadhim Zahawi is paid £2,917 a month for seven hours work with recruitment firm SThree in 2008 - the firm staffing new Clinical Commissioning Groups. The Mirror, Nick Sommerlad, Andy Robertson, Mar.12.2014
  26. ^ During the debate on the Health & Social Care Bill, Nadhim Zahawi helped the bill pass with a crucial speech where he called the bill a "brilliant piece of legislation". After it passed, a company called Sthree received £2.6m to profit out of the NHS. Zahawi is a director at Sthree. The Canary, , Jan.19.2018
  27. ^ Top Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi used offshore tax haven to buy £1m mansion in his OWN CONSTITUENCY. The Mirror, Adrian Shaw, Nov.25.2013
  28. ^ Twitter feed, @NadhimZahawi, Jan.24.2018
  29. ^ ZAHAWI UNDER FIRE. Who is Nadhim Zahawi, was he at the Presidents Club charity dinner and could the children and families minister resign? The Sun, Phoebe Cooke, Jan.25.2018
  30. ^ Presidents Club: Labour’s Lord Mendelsohn ‘sacked’ from front bench for attending men-only event, The iNews, Serina Sandhi, Jan.26.2018
  31. ^ This will be the reason Nadhim Zahawi hasn’t had the sack for attending the scandalous Presidents Club dinner. Vox Political, Mike Sivier, Jan.28.2018