Nadhim Zahawi, the Chancellor, has been advised by officials not to declare his formal support for any Conservative Party candidate for leadership in order to retain his seat at this week’s Mansion House dinner.
Sky News has learned that Mr Zahawi was told a few days ago that his neutrality after his own exit from the competition ahead of Tuesday night’s flagship event was vital.
It was unclear on Monday whether Mr Zahawi intended to declare his support for any of the remaining contenders after his Mansion address, which is one of the most significant outside of the budget declarations made by a chancellor each year.
That The candidates will be reduced to four on Monday eveningwith just two left before the end of the week.
A source said the Chancellor “fully respected” public service advice to remain neutral until after Tuesday night.
Mr Zahawi told Sky News anchor Kay Burley last week that Rishi Sunak, his predecessor as chancellor, would make “a great prime minister”, although this was before his own elimination and it was unclear if he would officially endorse Mr Sunak.
Sky News revealed a few days ago that the Mansion House event itself was in doubt while Mr Zahawi remained in the leadership mix.
Tom Scholar, permanent secretary of the Treasury, had held talks with Cabinet Office officials about whether the chancellor would have an unfair advantage if she spoke at the dinner.
The Mansion House Dinner, attended by hundreds of high-ranking financiers, business leaders and government officials, is one of the city’s most important standard events.
The Governor of the Bank of England and the Lord Mayor of the City of London also make keynote speeches, with the former often making important policy announcements.
The Treasury declined to comment.
Zahawi sits on Tory leadership fence in front of Mansion House address | business news
Source link Zahawi sits on Tory leadership fence in front of Mansion House address | business news