Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle sees Hands replace Zahawi
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Greg Hands has been appointed Tory Party Chairman, replacing Nadhim Zahawi who was sacked from the role at the end of last month over his tax affairs. The move came as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle. A recent Express.co.uk poll, however, found that readers overwhelmingly thought former Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be Party Chair.
The former international trade minister, Mr Hands, will be tasked with preparing the Tory campaign for the next general election and will have to overcome a 21-point lead for Labour in the polls.
Mr Hands has built a good reputation throughout his political career and is well-liked by fellow Tories.
The MP for Chelsea and Fulham shared his reaction on Twitter, writing that it was “an honour” to be Chairman alongside a photo of him with Mr Sunak.
He tweeted: “I am excited to be asked by Rishi Sunak to be Chairman of the Conservatives. I joined the Party in 1986 – a ward chairman in 1992, a councillor in 1998, a Group Leader in 1999, an MP in 2005, a Minister in 2011 – an honour to chair it in 2023! The work starts right away.”
In a poll that ran from 11:30am on Monday, January 30, to 8am on Tuesday, February 7, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Who should replace Nadhim Zahawi as Tory Party Chair?”
Overall, 1,986 votes were cast, with the most popular choice being Mr Johnson, receiving an overwhelming 56 per cent (1,117 people) of responses.
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel came in second with six per cent (110 people) followed by Foreign Office Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan with four per cent (70 people).
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden and former Chairman Brandon Lewis each received three per cent of the vote with 66 and 55 people backing them respectively.
All other listed candidates received one per cent or less, including Mr Hands who had the support of just 10 readers.
A further 17 per cent (344 people) answered “other”, while seven per cent (138 people) said they did not know.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on who should replace Mr Zahawi.
Many readers were in support of Mr Johnson, with username MissingEUAlready2 writing: “It would be a big welcome back Boris.”
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Similarly, username 32Counties said: “Go on, put Boris back into the limelight.”
Username Virago added: “Boris would be brilliant If he would do it.”
And username commonsense said: “Boris Johnson all day long.”
Meanwhile, other readers commented on the characteristics the next Party Chair should possess, like username bigbadbill, who said: “Anyone honest who will work for the good of the country and not themselves.”
Username fredegar wrote: “You would think it’s going to be somebody low profile and with a solid track record, somebody who isn’t going to create even more turmoil.”
Another, username DoggyPaws, said: “None of the above, someone who has an unimpeachable character and has never been linked to scandal.”
Username 1down1across remarked: “To be honest, I think it should be someone honest, with integrity and intelligence, unfortunately, there are not many of these people left.”
Username Southeast8 added: “You need friends and allies in that role.”
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