The Chancellor’s wife Akshata Murty owns a £430million stake in Infosys, an IT company founded by her billionaire dad, which has an office still operating in Moscow
Image: Simon Walker HM Treasury)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been accused of hypocrisy as he has resisted calls to fully disclose if his family have benefited from interests in Russia.
Mr Sunak urged business owners to “think very carefully about any investments that would in any sense support Putin and his regime” in the wake of Vladimir Putin ’s invasion of Ukraine.
But Infosys, an IT company founded by Mr Sunak’s father-in-law, have continued to operate from their Moscow office.
The Chancellor’s wife Akshata Murty owns a 0.91% stake in the company, which is currently worth £430million.
Ms Murty and her family hold a combined £2.7bn shareholding in Infosys – an increase from £1.7billion that was last reported in 2020.
Mr Sunak has not declared his wife’s shareholdings on the Register of Members’ Interests.
Infosys employs thousands of staff in the UK and is said to have held contracts with government ministries and public bodies.
The Ministerial Code states: “Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a list, in writing, of all relevant interests known to them, which might be thought to give rise to a conflict.
“Individual declarations, and a note of any action taken in respect of individual interests, are then passed to the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team and the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.”
The Chancellor insists he has “followed the ministerial code to the letter” and has previously denied benefitting from doing business in Russia.
A Treasury spokesman told the Mirror: “The Prime Minister’s independent adviser on ministerial interests has confirmed he is completely satisfied with the Chancellor’s propriety of arrangements and that he has followed the ministerial code to the letter in his declaration of interests.”
Labour ’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has questioned why the Chancellor is yet to declare his links to this company, given the “conflict of interest”.
Ms Rayner has written a letter to the most senior official at the Treasury, Tom Scholar asking him to “shed light on this case, given the mysteriousness surrounding the Chancellor’s links to this company, and his failure to declare these connections in the usual way”.
She told the Mirror: “This is rank hypocrisy from the Chancellor.
“One minute he is telling British companies to think carefully about investments that in any sense support Putin and his regime – the next we hear his family are making millions from a company operating out of the Russian capital.
“This company, founded by Sunak’s father-in-law, has been handed millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in contracts.
“Rishi Sunak must come clean about whether he is personally benefiting from business in Russia and whether he has declared this conflict of interest to the Permanent Secretary or if he’s been profiting in secret.”
In the latest list of ministerial interests, Mr Sunak has not mentioned Infosys.
Ministers should declare interests related to their spouse, partner or close family members, but as of November 2021, Mr Sunak has only cited Catamaran Ventures UK Ltd.
Infosys’ partner Ansaldo Energia was reportedly in talks over multimillion euro investments in Russia “just over a week before Moscow invaded Ukraine”, according to reports.
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