Rishi Sunak says ‘smear’ on wife’s tax affairs is a ‘political hit’

Chancellor fights after revealing his wife’s tax system (Photo: Reuters / PA)

Sage Sunak believes that his wife’s tax-related revelations are a ‘politically damaging act’ and an attempt to ‘smear’ her.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Akshata Murthy, worth millions of pounds, had claimed non-dome tax status in the UK.

For more than a decade, the Chancellor’s wife has been a fashion designer and has a partnership with her father’s company, Infosys, a giant corporation that has become one of the largest in India.

Mr Sunak said criticism of his wife – who had retained her Indian citizenship while living on Downing Street – was “unpleasant” and said he had “done nothing wrong”.

Although there is no indication that he did anything illegal, critics say the chancellor’s wife will only benefit financially by paying tax on UK income after requesting the status quo.

Tax non-doms have to prove their permanent home abroad and pay the government ¬£ 30,000 to pay the lion’s share of their tax abroad.

Mr Sunak came out swinging and the ‘allies’, who did not want to be named, believed that the day National Insurance was raised for families across the UK was designed to do the most political harm.

Sage Sunak and Akshata idols
Mr. Sunak married Akshata Murthy in 2009, whose father is a billionaire, (Photo: Getty)

He told The Sun: ‘I appreciate that in the past the British people tried to use this thing to avoid paying any taxes in the UK. I can see it from my inbox, can’t I? This is a very clear realization.

‘But that’s not the point here. He is not a British citizen. He is from another country. He is from India.

‘His family is there. . . That’s where she, you know, will end up wanting to take care of her parents as they get older.

‘He pays a full UK tax on every penny he earns here, just as he pays a full international tax on every penny he earns internationally, say, in India.’

He accused Labor – which he called “suffocating hypocrisy” – of sorting out the loophole, but the details appear to have come from within the government.

Mr Sunak is said to have leaked his wife’s tax issues to officials when he was a minister, but few, including the prime minister, are known to know about it.

Sunak and Johnson
A source close to the chancellor denied any involvement in the leak, but told reporters that they thought the leaks were an attempt to weaken him. (Photo: PA)

A supporter of the Chancellor, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Telegraph that he believed the number 10 was behind the publication, the latest in a string of negative briefings about the Chancellor in recent weeks.

A spokesman denied the allegations, saying: “It is clearly untrue that No. 10 is behind the briefing. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are united.

Another source close to Mr Sunak, who did not want to be named, told the Times: “He thinks it’s a complete smear.

‘It looks like a full-time briefing operation is underway against him. This is a hit job, a political hit job.

‘Someone is trying to ruin his credibility.’

Mr Johnson yesterday avoided questions about Mrs Murthy’s tax situation, saying “if you can” it was important to keep families away from politics.

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