South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has spoken out in support of the beleaguered Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi.

Mr Zahawi is facing calls to resign after it emerged that he underpaid his taxes while chancellor.

An inquiry into his conduct by the prime minister's ethics adviser Sir Laurie Magnus, who lives in Bungay, has been launched.

But Mr Bacon has defended the Tory chairman saying Nadhim Zahawi "is a great example of how you can come to this country and kick on."

The South Norfolk Conservative MP said: “I have an old-fashioned view that affairs of all individuals, from the highest in the land to the person who runs the corner shop.

"It is a private matter between revenue and customs and the individual.

“This applies to anybody in public life, including cabinet ministers.

“I am content that he has behaved himself in a way which is appropriate I have no knowledge of his tax affairs nor would expect to either."

The boss of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has said there are no penalties for "innocent" tax errors.

Jim Harra's comments to MPs come amid pressure on Mr Zahawi after it emerged he paid a penalty to the tax authority.

Despite the controversy, Mr Bacon says Mr Zahawi is a "great example" to anybody coming to the country.

“What I do know however is he is a very successful businessman who came here aged nine from Iraq, unable to speak a word of English.

"Mr Zahawi built a business worth hundreds of millions of pounds, employed many many people who have worked hard and paid tax, helping to pay for our doctors and nurses.

“So he has put a huge amount into this country and we should be very grateful to him.

“I think he is a great example of how you can come to this country and kick on.

“I would like to see more people do what he has done and not just make a success of their own lives but help so many people as he has done," Mr Bacon said.