Boris Johnson’s former education minister has been appointed as Britain’s new finance minister.
This comes after the resignation of former minister Rishi Sunak, who resigned after losing confidence in Johnson, he said.
As for Al-Zahawi (55), it could be that accepting one of the most important positions in the British state is something he did not even dare dream of as a child.
“I was probably one of the happiest people,” said Zahawi, an MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, Central England.
Al-Zahawi was born in Iraq in 1967, so it was very possible that he was forced to take part in the war with Iran in the 1980s.
“I would be drafted into the Iraqi army, sent to fight in the front lines and possibly killed there,” he told British journalist Nick Robinson in an interview aired on the Political Thought podcast last year. .
Instead, Nazim and his parents were forced to flee Iraq to Britain, where he grew up. His family was quite influential in Iraq. His grandfather served as governor of the Central Bank of Iraq – and Iraqi banknotes bore his signature.
But when Saddam Hussein took power in 1979, the Zahawi family felt threatened.
Nazim’s father, who was a businessman, knew that the authorities were planning to arrest him, so he quickly fled.
Nazim recalled the anxiety of family members as they waited for their plane to take off from Baghdad airport.
After all the passengers got on board, a military vehicle approached the plane. His mother burst into tears when they saw the soldiers arrest a passenger and get him off the plane.
His father was not that unfortunate traveler, but a traveler who sat behind him on the plane.
Nazim described the incident as a “painful childhood moment” that he never lost sight of.
So instead of growing up in Iraq, Nazim grew up in the English county of Sussex. He was educated in private schools and became a good knight.
But another disaster awaited the family. When Nazim was about to go to university, one of his father’s businesses collapsed, leaving him with everything he owned – except for a brown Vauxhall.
Then the young Nazim decided to use that dilapidated car as a taxi he was driving to provide for his family.
But his mother insisted that her son receive a college education, so she pledged her jewelry so that Nazim would not have to worry about the family’s financial situation.
So the young Nazim joined University College London, where he studied chemical engineering. He then, in his father’s footsteps, entered the world of business and finance, where he founded a company that specialized in selling products related to the Teletubbies program for children – which in the eighties of the last century was popular – a company in which Geoffrey Archer (now Lord Archer), who was one of the leading politicians of the Conservative Party, invested at the time.
Lord Archer told the BBC’s Profile program and remembered that the young Nazim “was a natural organizer, so if you told him I needed six taxis, three planes and a double-decker bus, all in 30 minutes, he would it did. “
Through parties and parties hosted by Archer, Nazim met some of the most prominent leaders and figures of the Conservative Party, including former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In 1994, Nazim became a Conservative member of Wandsworth Municipal Council, south of London, and three years later ran for the Erith and Timesmead constituency parliamentary elections, but was unsuccessful and was not elected to the House of Commons.
When Lord Archer launched his mayoral campaign for the City of London, Nazim Al-Zahawi joined his election team.
But Archer was forced to withdraw from the vertical race, so Zahawi had to get another job.
Zahawi, along with another former member of Archer’s team, Stephen Shakespeare, launched YouGov, a company that specializes in online polls.
The project was a huge success.According to the London Evening Standard newspaper, Al-Zahawi sold his shares in the company for £ 1.2 million.
After becoming financially savvy – Zahawi recently refused to disclose his fortune, but he is believed to be one of the richest politicians in the House of Commons – he turned again to try to win a parliamentary seat.
Finally, in 2010, his dream came true, a parliamentary seat in Stretford-upon-Avon, a constituency that has held Conservatives for more than a hundred years.
The House of Representatives at the time was still plagued by the huge spending scandal that some MPs were demanding, and Zahawi quickly became embroiled in that scandal as it turned out that he was demanding the expenses to supply his stables with electric power.
Al-Zahawi said at the time that he was “ashamed of that mistake” and had repaid the amounts paid to him. But that scandal did not significantly affect his political progress. In January 2018, the then Prime Minister Theresa May appointed him Minister of Education responsible for Children and Family Affairs.
But he soon became embroiled in another problem, after attending a party held at the (Presidents) men’s club.
A Financial Times reporter who attended the party in disguise revealed that the flight attendants were harassed and heard obscene and obscene expressions.
Minister of Vaccines
Zahawi was reprimanded by the prime minister for attending the party.
However, despite being described by current Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “controversial face from the past”, Nazim retained his cabinet position when Johnson took office in July 2019, when he moved from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Business has been transferred.
And in November 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, he got a job he described as “the most important job I could do” – it was the job of the Minister in charge of Corona vaccines.
Nazim Al-Zahawi oversaw the program for the distribution and distribution of Corona vaccines for almost 11 months, and he could claim that he had achieved considerable success, especially when Britain overtook many other countries in the field of vaccination.
The Johnson government regularly describes the vaccination program as one of its greatest achievements.
As for Al-Zahawi, who comments on his abilities and capabilities, “he loves operational challenges.”
Nazim, who was later considered a “trusted person”, was appointed Minister of Education following the removal of former Minister Gavin Williamson, who lost popularity in the chaos of school exams during the Corona epidemic.
As the person in charge of the education sector, Al-Zahawi faced the unprecedented challenge of enabling an entire generation of students to catch up after being forced to miss classes for months due to the pandemic.
During his tenure in the education portfolio, he promoted vocational education certificates, as he aimed to make these certificates the same fame as the A levels.
He tried to pass a school law drafted by Johnson’s government, but was forced to withdraw from some of its provisions after the draft law was apparently confronted by strong opposition.
He also planned to help more children benefit from the national special tutoring program.
In recent weeks, he has been trying to dissuade teachers from announcing a strike, a move he described as “unforgivable”, especially as it comes a few months after students returned to the epidemic. class.
The government is constantly relying on Al-Zahawi, as he enjoys a strong media presence, to defend his President Johnson in the various media.
Not only a year ago, Nazim al-Zahawi was a member of the Council of Ministers, but, in a remarkable rise, he is now moving to a very senior position.