Sunak Has Questions To Answer – Says Labour

Serco strikers at the Royal London Hospital in east London in February will recognise that Sunak burdens them with extra taxes, whilst enjoying his and his wife’s considerable wealth

CHANCELLOR Sunak has ‘a series of questions to answer’, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said yesterday, as the Tory tax scandal developed.

Last week, at the same time as Sunak hiked up taxes for millions of workers with the rise in NI payments and changes to income tax rates, it emerged that his multi-millionaire wife has ‘non-dom’ status, enabling her to avoid paying taxes in the UK.

The emergence of the fact that Akshata Murty (Sunak’s wife) was ‘non-domiciled’ in Britain for tax purposes, sparked a political storm.

Cooper said she wanted to know whether Sunak had declared his wife’s non-dom tax status when taking policy decisions, warning that ‘the lack of transparency does raise questions about conflict of interest’.

Cooper said: ‘The fact that they have changed their tax arrangements now shows that they do recognise it’s a problem – but they wouldn’t have done that if this hadn’t been public.’

Sunak’s wife and daughters moved out of Downing Street yesterday and back to one of the family’s homes in west London to escape the glare of the media.

Yesterday morning, Tory Policing Minister Kit Malthouse appeared on TV claiming that Murty’s announcement that she had decided to pay UK taxes on all her income shows she has accepted that there was a ‘sense of disquiet’ about the situation and she has ‘moved to correct it’.

He went on: ‘She is a non-combatant in the political fray but I think both she and Rishi have recognised that that situation was not one that was favourable and it was distracting from the overall message.’

Malthouse said the couple had recognised the situation ‘offended against a British sense of fair play’.

‘They recognise that there was a disconnect perhaps in the British public’s understanding of what was appropriate, and they’ve corrected that situation now for the future,’ he added.

Malthouse was also pressed on the revelation that Sunak, who previously lived in the US, still held a permanent residency green card for the country.

He denied the suggestion that the Chancellor’s career is now ‘toast’.

Sunak ordered an inquiry into the leak of his wife’s tax status on Saturday, as his allies said officials could be prosecuted for releasing the information, which he had declared to a small number of officials.

Previously he described questions over her tax affairs as ‘smears’.

A Sunak supporter said: ‘This will be a more aggressive version of leak inquiries, where it will not only investigate who were the keepers of the sensitive information and who had access to that information, but also who if anyone requested to see it.’

No 10 Downing St rejected newspaper reports that it was actually PM Johnson’s staff who leaked damaging stories about Sunak to the media.