LONDON—In a sudden turn of events, the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is now under investigation by Parliament’s standards watchdog for a possible failure to declare an interest. The announcement was made on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards website just half an hour ago. The investigation has been opened on April 13, 2023 under Paragraph 6 of the Code.

“Members must always be open and frank in declaring any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its Committees, and in any communications with Ministers, Members, public officials or public office holders,” states paragraph 6.

The investigation is related to shares owned by Rishi Sunak’s wife in a childcare firm. After the government announced an expansion of free childcare, concerns were raised about the Prime Minister’s transparency regarding these shares. Opposition parties suggested that he should have been more open about the fact that his wife held them and questioned whether his family could potentially profit from the expansion of free childcare.

One of the six private childcare providers likely to benefit from a government pilot scheme proposed in last month’s budget is Koru Kids, which has Akshata Murty, wife of Rishi Sunak, listed as a shareholder. The scheme offers incentives to individuals who train as childminders through the agency, with £1,200 provided.

Sunak claimed that everything was declared to the Cabinet Office, but it remains unclear whether it should have been included in the public declaration published on Parliament’s website.

The standards commissioner Daniel Greenberg confirmed that he is investigating the matter.

Responding to the announcement, Number 10 stated, “We are happy to assist the commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a ministerial interest.”


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