Sunak denies family benefiting from Putin’s regime
Chancellor of the UK’s Exchequer Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak denied his family is benefiting from Russia when his government has imposed sanctions on Moscow.
Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy is the daughter of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy. She is believed to have a stake in the IT services company which has operations in Russia.
“I don’t think so,” he said when Sky News on Thursday (24) asked him if his family could be “potentially benefiting” from the regime which has invaded Ukraine. He also said he has nothing to do with Infosys.
Referring to the UK’s call for supporting Ukraine, interviewer Jayne Secker asked him if he was “giving advice to others you’re not following in your own home.”
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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.”
Secker said, “she is not… but as a country, we’re asking taxpayers to fund the UK’s support for Ukraine. We’re asking people in the UK to give up their homes to Ukrainian refugees, whereas it appears your family, potentially, could be benefitting from Putin’s regime.”
Sunak responded, “No, I don’t think that’s the case. And as I’ve said, the operation of all companies is up to them”.
“We have 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,” he said.
Asked if Infosys was sending such a message, the chancellor said: “I have absolutely no idea because I have nothing to do with that company.”
Since 2009, Sunak has been married to Murthy, who runs the fashion label Akshata Designs.
Infosys is one of India’s leading multinational companies having a worldwide presence including in the UK and Russia.
India has not explicitly condemned Russia’s action in Ukraine. Indian companies, unlike many Western firms, have not talked about suspending or discontinuing their operations in Russia following the outbreak of the war.
An Infosys statement said the multinational software services major “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 $1 million towards relief efforts for the victims of war from Ukraine.”