Sunak was challenged by Jayne Secker over claims his family is profiting from Kremlin operations while he is urging businesses to cut ties with Russia.
As chancellor Rishi Sunak braced for a difficult morning broadcast round following his Spring Statement, where he failed to help millions of people with the cost of living crisis, leaving him facing stinging criticism, he probably didn’t anticipate being asked about his family links to Russia.
Appearing on Sky News, Sunak was challenged by Jayne Secker over claims his family is profiting from Kremlin operations while he is urging businesses to cut ties with Russia.
During his Spring Statement yesterday, the chancellor had asked firms to think carefully before investing in Russia to prevent any benefit to Putin’s regime. It comes as the UK and other European leaders impose sanctions on the Kremlin following Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murthy, holds a stake in her father’s firm Infosys, which is reported to operate in Moscow and has links to a major Russian bank.
Secker asked the chancellor: “It’s been reported that you’ve got family links to Russia. That your wife apparently has a stake in the Indian IT consultancy firm Infosys, they operate in Moscow, they have an office there, they have a delivery office there, they’ve got a connection to the Alpha bank in Moscow, are you giving advice to others that you’re not following in your own home?”
Sunak replied: “I’m here to talk to you about what I am responsible for, my wife is not.”
Asked once more if his family was benefiting from Putin’s regime, Sunak replied: “I don’t think that’s the case and as I’ve said the operations of all companies are up to them, we’ve put in place significant sanctions and all the companies we’re responsible for are following those as they rightly should.”
Asked if Infosys is, the chancellor insisted he had ‘absolutely no idea’ because he had nothing to do with the company’.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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