Rishi Sunak’s wife has £490million stake in company still operating in Moscow

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s alleged financial links to Russia mean he is not a ‘fit and proper’ person to be in charge of the nation’s purse, Professor Richard Murphy, Director of Tax Research UK, claimed today

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Rishi Sunak quizzed on ‘family link’s to Russia by Secker

Rishi Sunak’s wife has a £490million stake in a company which is still operating in Moscow and has links to a major Russian bank.

Multi-millionaire Akshata Murthy has shares in tech giant Infosys, owned by her father, Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy.

Mr Murthy, now chairman emeritus of the company, is a high-profile supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has refused to impose sanctions on Russia despite the bloodshed in Ukraine. India has also abstained in UN security council votes against Russia’s actions.

The Murthy family’s stake in Infosys reportedly runs to several billion. The firm 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 on Thursday named in the latest round of sanctions by the UK government.

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Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murthy in February
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Its founder oligarch Mikhail Friedman – who owns a £150 million mansion overlooking Hampstead Heath – was sanctioned earlier this month.

Mr Sunak’s alleged financial links to Russia mean he is not a “fit and proper” person to be in charge of the nation’s purse, it was claimed today.

The normally smooth chancellor squirmed during an interview on Sky News as he tried to brush off a question about his family’s alleged ties to the Putin regime.

Only days ago Sunak urged UK firms to think “very carefully” about investing in Russian ventures that would benefit President Vladimir Putin.

But he looked uncomfortable when Sky presenter Jayne Secker asked about his wife’s stake in the firm and whether he was “giving advice to others you’re not following in your own home.”

The chancellor said: “I’m an elected politician and I’m here to talk to you about what I’m responsible for. My wife is not.”

With UK inflation soaring to 6.2% – its fastest rise in 30 years – millions of households will be worrying about their own finances.

The 2022 cost of living crisis is hitting energy prices, fuel and the cost of food, with the government’s only solution so far to offer all households a £200 loan to help pay off their energy bills – which must be paid back eventually.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement saw him announce a cut in fuel duty, although this will cost the Treasury billions without putting cash back in families’ pockets.

So how will the Spring Statement affect you?

If you need help with the cost of living crisis, we’ve put together a list of charities and schemes offering advice and grants to keep you and your family warm and fed this year.

Asked if Infosys would be cutting ties with Russia, he replied: “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.







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“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.”

We approached the Treasury for a comment on whether Mr 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.







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“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, make her one of the wealthiest women in Britain, with a fortune larger than the Queen’s.

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.







Rishi Sunak departs on a private jet plane after visiting Scotland
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The Murthy family has invested part of the wealth created by Infosys into a £900million-a-year venture with Amazon in India, while Ms Murthy holds a direct shareholding in a UK firms which runs Jamie Oliver and Wendy’s burger restaurants in India.

She is also a director or direct shareholder of five other UK companies, including a Mayfair outfitter that supplies the tailcoats worn by pupils at Eton College.

Infosys lists a Moscow office among its European points of presence, while in 2016 it announced the founding of a development center in the Russian capital to support its heavy engineering work.






Rishi Sunak MP and wife Akshata Murthy

Ms 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 magnificent Georgian manor house in the small village of Kirby Sigston, just outside Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

Mr Sunak is a multi-millionaire in his own right thanks to his investment career.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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