Rishi Sunak’s wife has a £490 million stake in a company which is still operating in Moscow and has links to a major Russian bank.
Akshata Murthy is a multi-millionaire who has shares in the tech giant Infosys owned by her father, billionaire Narayana Murthy.
Chairman of the company, the billionaire is a prolific supporter of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Mirror reports.
Modi has refused to impose sanctions on Russia and also abstained in UN security council votes against the Ukrainian invasion.
The Murthy family’s stake in Infosys reportedly runs to several billion.
The company has four offices in the UK as well as one in Kulakov Lane, Moscow, but is Indian-owned so not subject to UK sanctions.
Infosys has reportedly worked with Russia’s Alfa-Bank, which was named in the latest round of sanctions by the UK government.
Founder oligarch Mikhail Friedman – who owns a £150 million mansion in Hampstead Heath – was sanctioned earlier this month.
Infosys lists a Moscow office among its European points of presence.
In 2016, it announced the founding of a development center in the Russian capital to support its heavy engineering work.
Infosys has worked for the Home Office and signed a framework agreement with Whitehall, which means it can be awarded contracts without competition.
The company employs an estimated 10,000 staff in the UK.
Sunak’s alleged Russian financial links mean he is not “fit and proper” to be in charge of the nation’s purse, it has been claimed.
It comes days after he urged UK firms to think “very carefully” about investing in Russian ventures that would benefit Vladimir Putin.
The chancellor squirmed during an interview on Sky News as he tried to brush off a question about his family’s alleged Putin ties.
He was asked about his wife’s Infosys’ stake and whether he was “giving advice to others you’re not following in your own home.”
Sunak replied: “I’m an elected politician and I’m here to talk to you about what I’m responsible for. My wife is not.”
Asked if Infosys would be cutting Russian ties, he said: “I have absolutely no idea because I have nothing to do with that company.”
Following the exchange Professor Richard Murphy, Director of Tax Research UK, asked on Twitter if it was “time to sanction Sunak?”
Speaking to the Mirror, the professor of Accounting Practice at Sheffield University Management School said: “Sunak’s wife has close ties through her family to a company that is trading and profiting from Russia, and which has been a significant source of business for them over recent years, which has led to her being worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
“The Chancellor lives in a family of untold wealth and some of that wealth is presently being supported by commercial links with Russia, which they appear to have no sign of wishing to break. I’m quite sure they are not breaking them because it pays them to keep them going.
“I follow a rule which is commonplace in finance, which is to ask the question whether someone is a fit and proper person to undertake the job. The person has to prove that they are independent, to be able to offer objective advice on which people can rely, and that their opinion making is free from influence.
“Rishi Sunak is the man in charge of our nation’s finances. My question is, is he a fit and proper person to be in charge? Is he objective and able to form an uninfluenced opinion about what is best for this country, independent of Russia’s influence on his family’s fortune? I don’t think he is.”
The Mirror approached the Treasury for a comment on whether Sunak’s family links with Russia compromised his role in government but didn’t receive a response.
A spokesman for Infosys said: “Infosys supports and advocates for peace between Russia and Ukraine. Infosys has a small team of employees based out of Russia, that services some of our global clients, locally. We do not have any active business relationships with local Russian enterprises.
“A key priority for Infosys in times of adversity, is to continue extending support to the community. The company has committed $1million towards relief efforts for the victims of war from Ukraine.”
Akshata Murthy’s shares in Infosys, and her other financial interests leave her with a fortune larger than the Queen’s.
She is also a direct shareholder in the UK firm which runs Jamie Oliver and Wendy’s burger restaurants in India
As well as this, she is a director or direct shareholder of five other companies, including one which supplies tailcoats for Eton pupils.
Murthy also runs fashion label Akshata Designs and is also a director of a venture capital firm founded by her father in 2010.
Akshata Murthy also runs fashion label Akshata Designs and is also a director of a venture capital firm founded by her father in 2010.
The Sunaks have two daughters and live in a village of Kirby Sigston, outside Northallerton in North Yorkshire.
Rishiki Sunak is a multi-millionaire in his own right thanks to his investment career.
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