The millionaire Chancellor confronted a troublesome interview about his spouse Akshata Murthy’s stake in Indian IT agency Infosys, which has an workplace in Moscow
Rishi Sunak has rejected allegations his household has been “benefiting from Vladimir Putin’s regime’ via an Indian IT company his wife has shares in.
In an interview on Sky News, the millionaire Chancellor was pressed about his wife Akshata Murthy’s multi-million pound stake in tech firm Infosys.
The Indian company has a base in Moscow and is owned by Akshata’s father, NR Narayana Murthy – one of India’s wealthiest individuals – but Delhi has not made Russia subject to the same sanctions as the UK.
Sky presenter Jayne Secker quizzed the top Tory about the matter after Mr Sunak advised British firms to stop investing in Russia after Putin waged war on Ukraine.
She asked: “Are you giving recommendation to others that you just’re you are not following in your individual residence?”
Mr Sunak said: “I am an elected politician. And I am right here to speak to you about what I am liable for. My spouse just isn’t.”
Ms Secker then questioned the Chancellor once more, saying: “She is not but equally if as a country, we are asking taxpayers to fund the UK support for Ukraine. We’re asking people in the UK to give their homes up to Ukrainian refugees, whereas it appears your family potentially could be benefiting from Putin’s regime.”
Mr Sunak denied this declare and stated “the operations of all companies are up to them”, including: “We’ve we’ve put in place significant sanctions and all the companies that we are responsible for are following those, as they rightly should, sending a very strong message to Putin’s aggression.”
Ms Secker went on: “Do you know if Infosys is?”
Mr Sunak replied: “I have I have absolutely no idea because I have nothing to do with that company.”
Labour MP Liam Byrne has criticised the Chancellor, nevertheless, saying: “At a time when we have a responsibility to stand with the Ukrainian people as they resist Russian aggression, this is extremely concerning. Putin’s government needs to be treated like the pariah, not a cash cow.”
Infosys has stated it has a small group of staff primarily based out of Russia.
A spokesman for the Chancellor advised the Mirror: “Ms Murthy is one of thousands of minority shareholders in the company.
“It’s a public firm and neither her nor any member of her household have any involvement within the operational choices of the corporate.”