LONDON—UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declared his wife’s shares in a childcare firm that is set to receive a cash boost from the Budget, newly updated document confirm. The latest List of Ministerial Interests shows that Rishi’s wife Akshatha Murty owns a “capital investment company” and “a number of direct shareholdings”, including a minority shareholding in the company Koru Kids.
In the section for relevant interests held by a spouse or close relative, Sunak’s entry disclosed his wife’s venture capital company, Catamaran Ventures, and unspecified “direct shareholdings.” A footnote was added, stating that these holdings include her “minority shareholding” in Koru Kids.
This comes after PM Sunak was placed under investigation by Parliament’s Standards Commissioner for a possible breach of the MPs’ code, as his wife’s company could benefit from the government’s expansion of free childcare provision.
Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the UK’s Labour party, has criticized Rishi Sunak, for not delivering on his promises of integrity and preserving the previous government’s inadequate standards regime. Rayner has called for stronger rules to be put in place to ensure transparency and accountability for the public.
Sunak is expanding free childcare provision to include one and two-year-olds receiving 30 hours free each week. The policy was announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in last month’s Spring Budget.
In an earlier letter to Liaison Committee chair Sir Bernard Jenkin, Rishi Sunak clarified that the interest had been declared to the Cabinet Office, stating: “I note that there has been some media coverage relating to the minority stake my wife has in relation to the company Koru Kids. I would like to clarify for the Parliamentary record that this interest has rightly been declared to the Cabinet Office.”
Rishi Sunak, who comes from a finance background and is independently wealthy, manages his fortune through a blind management arrangement that is overseen by independent financial advisers without his direct involvement.
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