Rishi Sunak refers himself for independent review into tax affair declarations
ITV News Reporter Harry Horton explains what the referral means and why the chancellor was motivated to do it
Rishi Sunak has referred himself to the independent adviser on ministerial interests, Lord Geidt, over his declarations on tax affairs.
The chancellor has asked the prime minister to refer his various declarations of interest for independent review.
It comes as a Whitehall inquiry has been launched in an attempt to find out who passed details of the chancellor's wife’s tax status to the media.
Akshata Murty dramatically announced on Friday that she would pay UK taxes on her worldwide income after the disclosure she was “non-domiciled” in the UK for tax purpose sparked a political storm.
Labour accused Mr Sunak of hypocrisy, saying his family had potentially saved tens of millions of pounds as a result of the arrangement while he was putting up taxes for millions of others.
In an update on Sunday, Mr Sunak tweeted a letter sent to Boris Johnson in which the chancellor requests his ministerial declarations be investigated by the Independent Advisor on Ministers’ Interests."I have always followed the rules and I hope such a review will provide further clarity," the MP for Richmond wrote.The chancellor requests in his letter to Mr Johnson that the conclusions of Lord Geidt's review be made public.
"I am confident that such a review of my declarations will find all relevant information was appropriately declared," Mr Sunak wrote.
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Some experts have estimated that Ms Murty, who remains an Indian citizen, has saved £20 million as a result of not having to pay taxes on her shares in Infosys, an Indian IT company founded by her father.
The disclosure of his wife's tax status has seen Mr Sunak’s approval ratings take another hit after he was criticised for not doing enough to support families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis in last month’s Spring Statement.
It has led to questioning among Tory MPs as to whether the Chancellor – long seen as a potential successor to Boris Johnson – has the political judgment needed for the top job.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mr Sunak played down reports that he was moving his wife and two daughters out of Downing Street to escape the glare of the media.
Removal vans were seen taking belongings away from the flat shared by Mr Sunak and wife Akshata Murthy on Saturday morning.
A source close to Mr Sunak told ITV News that the family wished to move closer their eldest daughter's primary school for her final term before she heads to boarding school in September.
They continued that Mr Sunak will still work from Downing Street and will stay at the flat when he needs to work late.