NADHIM Zahawi has become the UK Government’s latest Chancellor after Rishi Sunak’s sudden resignation on Tuesday night.

The Tory minister has held several roles in the Government, having served as an MP since 2010.

Education secretary until last night, Zahawi is understood to have particularly impressed Boris Johnson during his time as vaccines minister.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson clings to power after shock Cabinet resignations

He has also been a junior minister for business and energy, and a junior minister for health and social care.

Now Zahawi has overall responsibility for the Treasury – overseeing the Government’s monetary policies.

So what does this mean for Scotland?

While his predecessor had reportedly been wishy-washy on the constitution prior to taking on the top job, Zahawi has made his opinions on independence very clear.

He has described the prospect of a Yes vote as a “catastrophically poor choice” for Scotland, and recently claimed that Scottish education is in “freefall”.

In May, he fell into a row with the Scottish Government when he said: “I do worry that Scottish children are being let down and it seems like Scotland’s in freefall on the Pisa tables - the international league tables.”

But a spokesperson for Scotland’s Education Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said Zahawi “doesn’t even seem to be on nodding terms with reality” – noting that Scotland has seen the highest number of higher passes since devolution in recent years.

She also pointed out that Scotland’s spending per pupil is higher than other parts of the UK.

On independence, Zahawi wrote for Conservative Home in 2017 expressing his anger over Sturgeon pushing for a post-Brexit independence referendum.

“The First Minister’s apparent reasoning is that the ‘voice of Scotland’ is being ignored, and therefore the only option available to them is to tear apart our United Kingdom, and forge their own way in the world. Didn’t we go through all of this less than three years ago?” he wrote.

Nadhim Zahawi addresses the Local Government Association Annual Conference. Photograph: PA

He justified Scotland being pulled out of the EU despite having voted by a large majority to stay, saying: “In 2016, the Scottish people subsequently did vote to continue within in the European Union – but their vote was for the United Kingdom to remain, not Scotland. Their votes were counted and listened to in the exact same way as the other millions of remain votes around the United Kingdom, whether they were in Belfast, London or Stratford upon Avon.”

He added: “Scotland had a ‘once in generation vote’ just two and a half years ago. As the Prime Minister said, politics in not a game, and it would be an insult to the people of Scotland, and the rest of the UK, to continue asking this question every few years, every time the SNP finds a grievance to play up.”

In the same year, Zahawi told Newsnight that Sturgeon’s independence calls were “silly”.

Nadhim Zahawi addresses the Local Government Association Annual Conference. Photograph: PA

“In 2018/19 which is when I think is likely, we will be seeing a good deal emerge, for both sides, for the EU and the United Kingdom,” he predicted wrongly.

“It will make the SNP look irrelevant, they will look silly in the eyes of Scottish people.”

He claimed the eventual Brexit deal would convince Scots to stick with the Union.

“I think the Scottish people will look at this and be better off in the family of nations in a strong dynamic United Kingdom, we will have a great settlement for Europe.”