British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is being investigated by parliament’s standards watchdog over whether he properly declared his wife’s shareholding in a childcare company which stands to benefit from new government Policy.
The investigation is an embarrassment for Sunak, who came into office in October promising to lead a government with integrity “at every level” as he sought to revive his party’s fortunes ahead of a national election expected next year
The couple faced criticism and public anger while Sunak was finance minister over Murthy’s “non-domiciled” tax status which meant she did not pay tax in Britain on her earnings abroad. She subsequently gave up the status and said she would pay British tax on her global income.
The commissioner, who gave no details of the investigation, is responsible for the House of Commons code of conduct and investigates any alleged breaches.
Under the code of conduct, members of parliament have to provide information about financial interests which might reasonably be thought to influence their work in parliament.
If the investigation finds a breach, the Commissioner can require Sunak to apologise and set out steps to avoid any future errors, or refer him to a committee which has the power to suspend or expel him from parliament
Opposition Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner said Sunak should publish an updated register of ministerial interests before municipal elections next month, saying the failure to do so had left “a transparency black hole which is enabling the prime minister and those he has appointed to dodge proper scrutiny of their affairs”.