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Row over non-dom status of Rishi Sunak's billionaire heiress wife

Akshata Murthy, whose father is one of India 's richest men, is facing scrutiny after it emerged she has kept non-dom status despite living in 11 Downing Street with Rishi Sunak and their children. They are pictured together last month

Rishi Sunak is scrambling to quell a row over his billionaire heiress wife’s ‘non-dom’ status today amid claims she could have avoided millions of pounds in UK tax.

Akshata Murthy, whose father is one of India’s richest men, is facing scrutiny after it emerged she has kept the status despite living in 11 Downing Street with the Chancellor and their children.

It means she was not liable for tax on overseas earnings, including dividends from her father’s company that reportedly came to £11.6million last year. That sum could have meant paying £4.4million to HMRC. 

A spokeswoman for Ms Murthy pointed out she is an Indian citizen and stressed she pays UK taxes on UK income. There is no suggestion any laws or rules have been broken. MPs and Peers are banned from being non-doms, but spouses are not subject to any such restriction.

However, reforms brought in by the Tory government in 2015 stated that non-dom status is intended to ‘support those from overseas who come to the UK but don’t intend to stay here permanently’.  

Keir Starmer said the arrangements appeared to represent ‘breathtaking hypocrisy’ as the government brings in eye-watering rises in national insurance and other taxes – saying Mr Sunak is ‘out of touch’ with ordinary people.  

However, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband raised questions about Labour’s position by suggesting non-dom status should have been abolished – even though it is not clear whether that is the party’s current policy. 

Boris Johnson blanked questions about Ms Murthy on a visit to Somerset this morning, saying: ‘I think as far as we possibly can in politics it is a good thing to steer clear of wives and families in political discussion.’ 

But in a round of interviews, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng the focus on Ms Murthy was ‘completely unfair’ – echoing similar comments from Mr Sunak last week.

Asked if she was sheltering herself from tax, Mr Kwarteng said: ‘I don’t think that’s true at all, sheltering sounds as if you’re evading things.

‘I think she’s been very clear, she’s been very transparent, the Chancellor’s been very transparent, and this non-dom status has been part of the UK tax system for more than 200 years.’   

Akshata Murthy, whose father is one of India 's richest men, is facing scrutiny after it emerged she has kept non-dom status despite living in 11 Downing Street with Rishi Sunak and their children. They are pictured together last month

Akshata Murthy, whose father is one of India ‘s richest men, is facing scrutiny after it emerged she has kept non-dom status despite living in 11 Downing Street with Rishi Sunak and their children. They are pictured together last month 

A spokeswoman for Ms Murthy pointed out she is an Indian citizen and stressed she pays UK taxes on UK income. There is no suggestion any laws or rules have been broken

A spokeswoman for Ms Murthy pointed out she is an Indian citizen and stressed she pays UK taxes on UK income. There is no suggestion any laws or rules have been broken 

Ms Murthy is the daughter of the billionaire founder of an IT company. Pictured: The couple at their wedding with Murthy's parents

Ms Murthy is the daughter of the billionaire founder of an IT company. Pictured: The couple at their wedding with Murthy’s parents

Rishi Sunak's poll ratings have been tumbling amid the raging cost-of-living crisis

Rishi Sunak’s poll ratings have been tumbling amid the raging cost-of-living crisis

Boris Johnson blanked questions about Ms Murthy on a visit to Somerset this morning, saying: 'I think as far as we possibly can in politics it is a good thing to steer clear of wives and families in political discussion'

Boris Johnson blanked questions about Ms Murthy on a visit to Somerset this morning, saying: ‘I think as far as we possibly can in politics it is a good thing to steer clear of wives and families in political discussion’

How does non-dom status work? 

Non-dom tax status typically applies to someone who was born overseas, spends much of their time in the UK but still considers another country to be their permanent residence or ‘domicile’.

In Ms Murty’s case, she would need to be claiming that the UK is not her permanent residence.

Citizenship of an individual living in the UK is irrelevant when it comes to non-dom status as it is possible for a UK citizen, or someone born in the UK, to claim they are a non-dom.

According to Home Office guidance: ‘A person can change nationality without it affecting their domicile, or could acquire a change of domicile whilst retaining their original nationality.

‘The fact that a person has acquired a new nationality can be a relevant factor in showing a change of domicile, but is not conclusive, depending upon the reasons for the change. If a person gives up their former nationality it may suggest a change of domicile.’

Status is not given automatically because an individual must apply for the exemption in their tax status when filling out their UK tax return.

According to the Government, a person’s domicile is usually the country where their father considered his permanent home when the individual was born.

In Ms Murthy’s case, she was born in India, so she ticks the first box for claiming she is not domiciled in the UK.

Others can also inherit their domicile from their parents, meaning they can still be born in the UK but have non-dom status.

When evaluating someone’s domicile, the taxman will consider a number of factors, including permanent country of residence and how long an individual intends to stay in the UK.

When it comes to tax, the rules state that you do not pay UK tax on foreign income or gains if they are less than £2,000 a year and you do not bring them into the UK.

If you earn more than £2,000 from overseas or bring any money into the UK you must pay UK tax on it – although this may be claimed back.

Or you can pay an annual charge, depending on how long you have been in the UK.

The charges are £30,000 if you have been in the UK for at least seven of the last nine tax years, or £60,000 for at least 12 of the previous 14 tax years.

Therefore, if you are resident in the UK but a citizen of another country, you must still pay a fee.

For high net-worth individuals, many will opt for the yearly charge because the income received from foreign businesses and investments is likely to lead to a far higher tax bill.

A spokeswoman for the Chancellor’s wife said: ‘Akshata Murthy is a citizen of India, the country of her birth and parents’ home.

‘India does not allow its citizens to hold the citizenship of another country simultaneously.

‘So according to British law, Ms Murthy is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes. She has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income.’

Ms Murthy reaffirmed the tax status as recently as April 2020, two months after her husband was made Chancellor, according to the Independent. 

A source close to Mr Sunak said: ‘Neither of them has done anything wrong and she has complied fully with UK law. They have both followed the rules to the letter.

‘The Treasury has known about this all the time he has been there and when he became a junior minister in 2018, he went out of his way to provide extra disclosure to the Cabinet Office that was not strictly required.’

The revelation – which surfaced on the day Mr Sunak hiked taxes for millions of workers – prompted Labour to claim it was ‘yet another example of the Tories thinking it is one rule for them – another for everyone else’.

Mr Sunak has been under heavy fire since being accused of failing to do enough to help struggling families in his Spring Statement a fortnight ago.

He was branded an ‘illusionist’ after hailing his ‘tax-cutting’ moves, despite the burden being on course to reach the highest level since the 1940s. 

The government’s own watchdog has predicted that this year will see the biggest fall in disposable incomes since records began in the 1950s. 

He was also ridiculed for photo-ops after the mini-Budget, including posing putting fuel into a Kia Rio owned by a Sainsbury’s staff member.  

The annual charge for gaining non-dom status in the UK ranges from £30,000 to £60,000 depending on how long a citizen has lived in the country.

It is understood that Ms Murthy has been living in the UK for nine years. The couple, who now have two daughters, met at university in California and were married in 2009.

They lived abroad before Mr Sunak was elected MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire in 2015.

Mr Sunak is said to have declared his wife’s tax status when he became a minister in 2018 and the Treasury was also made aware so any potential conflicts could be managed.

The UK tax rate for dividends is just under 40 per cent for the highest earners, while the highest rate of income tax is 45 per cent.

This is higher than dividend rates for Indian companies, where they are taxed at between 10 and 20 per cent depending on resident status. Income tax in India is 30 per cent.

Details of Ms Murthy’s exact tax status are not yet known. It is understood she pays foreign taxes on her foreign income.

Experts say being a non-dom also prevents her being liable for UK inheritance tax on any assets held in India.

That is thought to remain the case even if she stays in the UK for 15 years and is deemed a permanent resident, due to small print in Britain’s inheritance tax treaty with India. 

Sir Keir told broadcasters: ‘A Chancellor who says to the British public that he will tax them – he’s introduced 15 tax rises, and he says all of this is necessary, there’s no option – if it now transpires that his wife has been using schemes to reduce her own tax then I’m afraid that is breathtaking hypocrisy, and it shows yet again that we have got a Chancellor who is completely out of touch with the struggles that so many people in this country are going through at the moment with this cost-of-living crisis.’

Asked if Ms Murthy should change her tax status, Sir Keir added: ‘We need complete transparency on this so that we can all understand what schemes she may have been using to reduce her own tax.

PM and Chancellor have lowest council tax in country… and WON’T face higher energy bills  

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak enjoy the lowest council tax charges in the country and will not face higher energy bills this month.

The PM and Chancellor pay the levy at their grace-and-favour residences in No11 and No10 Downing Street respectively.

But council tax in Westminster is the lowest in England, with a band D property liable for £827.56 in 2021-22 – less than half the national average of £1,898.

Both Downing Street apartments are in Band H, which entails a £1,655.12 bill. But a home in the same band in Bristol would be paying £4,327.30, and in Nottingham the figure is nearly three times higher at £4,451.52. 

Costs are expected to rise across England in April, although how much is yet to be confirmed. 

Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak will also escape soaring energy bills causing misery for millions this spring because of a ‘cap’ on contributions at the residences.

The PM and the Chancellor are only liable for a ‘benefit in kind’ to cover heating and utilities at flats where they live rent-free.

And the value of the benefit is limited to a maximum of 10 per cent of their ministerial salary – meaning they only pay a few thousand pounds a year and it will not change.

‘But to use a scheme when the Chancellor is out there day after day saying we need tax rises on millions of people in this country who are really, really struggling is breathtaking hypocrisy.’

Mr Miliband said there was no legal issue but pointed out the government was making Britons pay more tax, after the national insurance hike came in yesterday.

‘He is the UK Chancellor asking people to pay more in taxes. Is it right that his immediate family is sheltering from UK taxes? I think Rishi Sunak and his family should reflect on that,’ he told Sky News. 

Professor Richard Murphy, the Sheffield University academic who co-founded the Tax Justice Network, insisting that being a non-dom is a ‘choice’ Ms Murthy could relinquish.

Despite HMRC having seemingly signed off on Ms Murthy’s status, he said: ‘Domicile has nothing to do with a person’s nationality.

‘In other words, the claims made in the statement issued by Ms (Murthy) are wrong, and, as evidence, just because a person has Indian citizenship will never automatically grant them non-dom status in the UK.’ 

Last week, Mr Sunak hit back at ‘upsetting’ criticism of his wife and father-in-law over her family firm’s links to Russia.

He expressed his anger at media coverage of his wife’s shares in Indian IT giant Infosys, which was founded by her billionaire father Narayana.

The Chancellor joked that, unlike Will Smith at the Oscars, he ‘didn’t get up and slap anybody’. But he warned people not to ‘come at my wife’.

Infosys, an IT and consultancy firm, was criticised for continuing operations in Moscow before bowing to pressure last week and closing its Russian office.

Mr Sunak was widely criticised for failing to scrap the 1.25 percentage-point increase in national insurance in the Spring Statement, which came into force yesterday.

The Prime Minister yesterday admitted that households will have to make ‘tough choices’ as the cost-of-living crisis bites but defended the tax hike as ‘unquestionably the right thing’.

Shadow economic secretary to the Treasury Tulip Siddiq said last night: ‘The Chancellor has imposed tax hike after tax hike on the British people.

‘It is staggering that at the same time his family may have been benefiting from tax-reduction schemes. This is yet another example of the Tories thinking it is one rule for them, another for everyone else.

‘Rishi Sunak must now urgently explain how much he and his family have saved on their own tax bill at the same time he was putting taxes up for millions of working families and choosing to leave them £2,620-a-year worse off.’

Ms Murty is listed on LinkedIn as being director of capital and private equity firm Catamaran Ventures, gym chain Digme Fitness, and gentlemen’s outfitters New and Lingwood.

She is also reported to hold a 0.91 per cent stake in Infosys, which was founded by her now billionaire father.

Infosys is closing its Moscow office after facing pressure to end operations in the country amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

Tech giant Infoysys is one of India’s largest companies and has a presence in about 50 countries.

It set up an engineering centre in Moscow in 2016 where it is thought that up to 100 people were employed.  

Despite many global IT firms suspending operations in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, Infosys had kept what it has described as a ‘small team’ there until now, according to the BBC.

But in a recent statement, the company had said: ‘We do not have any active business relationships with local Russian enterprises.’  

It was revealed earlier this week that Ms Sunak and his wife have given more than £100,000 to top public school Winchester.

The Chancellor and Ms Murthy are listed as ‘Wykeham benefactors’ in the magazine of the school – where he was head boy. 

The magazine for the school – which has annual fees of £43,335 a year or £14,445 a term – includes the Sunaks in a list of people ‘whose total donations to Winchester College (including pledges) are greater than £100,000’.  

It was revealed earlier this week that Ms Sunak and his wife have given more than £100,000 to his old public school Winchester

It was revealed earlier this week that Ms Sunak and his wife have given more than £100,000 to his old public school Winchester 

It comes amid a cost of living squeeze in Britain, with Mr Sunak accused of failing to do enough to help struggling families

Billionaire father of Rishi Sunak’s wife ‘is driven around in a Skoda’  

By Vivek Chaudhary and Shekhar Bhatia for MailOnline

The billionaire father of Rishi Sunak’s heiress wife is a clean-living vegetarian who resides in a modest two-story home and is driven around in a Skoda.

While Akshata Murthy finds herself under scrutiny after it emerged she has kept ‘non-dom’ status despite living in in the UK with the Chancellor and their children and is known for her glamorous lifestyle, her father Narayana Murthy is celebrated in his home country of India as much for his frugality as his business acumen.

Mr Murthy, 75 is worth an estimated £3.5 billion after co-founding IT company Infosys in 1981, which is now one of the world’s leading tech giants.

But despite his riches, he continues to live in an unpretentious home on a quiet street in Jayanagr, a suburb of the South Indian city of Bangalore which he shares with his wife and Akshata’s mother Sudha, 71.

The couple are committed vegetarians and have publicly revealed that their favourite meal consists of chapattis, vegetables, dal and curd, which they regularly share together for their lunch and evening meal.

Until recently, Mr Murthy was known to still fly economy class while his only concession to his wealth has been to hire a chauffeur for his Skoda car but has admitted that he prefers to walk when he can.

Despite retiring from Infosys in 2011, in which he still owns shares along with Akshata he starts his day at 5am with a bucket bath which is never more than half-filled.

Mr Murthy regularly professes the importance of hard work and ‘living a simple life’ and still works around 14 hours per day.

After quitting Infosys, he set up his own private investment firm, opening an office just a short distance from his home so that he can return there each lunch time for vegetarian food with Sudha.

The couple are also involved in a number of philanthropic initiatives through the Infosys Foundation, which Sudha heads and provides millions of pounds of funding each year for a variety of causes.

They can regularly be seen walking each evening in the leafy suburb where they live, often without any security.

One local resident told MailOnline: ‘They are a simple, ordinary couple who are always very pleasant. She’s always dressed in a modest sari while he’s in simple shirt and trousers. You would never guess that they are so rich because there is nothing lavish or flamboyant about them. They are the most ordinary, nice people you could meet.’

Mr Murthy once famously declared in an interview, before he was about to address the World Economic Forum in Davos: ‘The real power of money is the power to give it away. Because you can have five cars, you can have five houses, you can send your children to the best schools, but then you can only eat twice a day.’

Born in the South Indian city of Mysore, Mr Murthy was raised in what is described as a modest middle-class family. After graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Mysore University, he worked in the IT industry before helping to set up Infosys.

Sudha was raised in a wealthy, upper middle-class family in the town of Shiggaon, in the South Indian state of Karnataka and had a brilliant academic career earning degrees in Engineering and Computer Science.

A prolific IT expert in her own right, she was actually considered more intelligent and gifted than her future husband when they first met after being introduced by a mutual friend. She is also a celebrated author and is known in India for her public views on parenting.

They married in February 1978 with both equally contributing to the cost of the wedding, which was described as a modest affair.

Mr Murthy has often praised the role his wife played in helping Infosys to become a success as she put her own professional ambitions on the back burner.

He once revealed in interview with Indian media: ‘I am very lucky my wife has never burdened me with any of the domestic responsibilities – bringing up children, going to their school, helping them in their studies, buying stuff, groceries and all that, paying all the bills. She built our first house. She does everything.’

And he once wrote a letter to Akshata which was published in a book by her mother Sudha telling of his love for his daughter. Mr Murthy wrote: Becoming a father transformed me in ways that I could never have thought possible. ‘I could never go back to being the person I used to be before. Your arrival in my life brought unimaginable joy and a larger responsibility. ‘ I was no more than just a husband, a son, or a promising employee of a fast growing company. ‘I was a father, who had to measure up to the expectations his daughter would have of him at every stage of her life.’

Rishi Sunak’s wife is richer than the Queen: Tech billionaire’s daughter who he met while studying at Stanford has shares in family’s firm are worth £430million – making her one of Britain’s wealthiest women

Rishi Sunak’s wife has shares in her family’s tech firm that are worth £430million, making her one of Britain’s wealthiest women and richer than the Queen. 

Akshata Murthy and her relatives hold a multimillion pound portfolio of shareholdings which have come to light amid questions over the Chancellor, who met his future wife while studying at Stanford University, California, failing to declare them in the register of ministers’ interests last year.

The assets make Indian-born Akshata richer than the Queen, who is estimated to be worth £350million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. 

She is the daughter of one of the richest men in India – billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy – who has been described as the father of the Indian IT sector and ‘one of the 12 greatest businessmen of all time’. 

Sunak is the son of a GP father and pharmacist mother who emigrated to Southampton from East Africa in the 1960s, and he studied at Oxford University before winning a Fulbright scholarship to Stanford where the future husband and wife met.  

The latest revelation comes after Sunak faced demands to reveal details of his financial interests last month, after it emerged he set up a ‘blind trust’ when he was made Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July last year.

But critics said there was still risk of conflict as Sunak – reputed to be the richest MP – is aware what he put into the trust. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy (pictured together at their wedding) has shares in her family's tech business worth £430million, making her richer than the Queen

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy (pictured together at their wedding) has shares in her family’s tech business worth £430million, making her richer than the Queen

He became a household name after he married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of the billionaire founder of a staggeringly successful IT company. Pictured: The couple at their wedding with Murthy's parents

He became a household name after he married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of the billionaire founder of a staggeringly successful IT company. Pictured: The couple at their wedding with Murthy’s parents

Sunak’s wife is the daughter of an entrepreneur in India, co-founding technology company Infosys – in which she owns 0.91 per cent shares, totalling £430million. 

Her family are also have a joint venture with Amazon worth £900million a year and shares in the firm running Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian and burger chain Wendy’s in India. 

Before becoming Chancellor, Sunak was better known in India than he was in Britain, after he became a household name when he married Akshata, the daughter of a self-made billionaire. 

Akshata’s father is the 51st richest man in India and ranks at 1135 in the world’s billionaire list, according to Forbes. 

The father-of-two from Bangalore, India, graduated with a science Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology before becoming the co-founder and chairman of Infosys. 

He spent 30 years at the company before resigning in 2011, coming back in 2013 to pass the management to a CEO in 2014.

The tech giant was worth around £2billion when Southampton-born Sunak travelled on a Fulbright scholarship to Stanford University in California, where he met his future wife after taking Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford.

It is today valued at around £33.3billion, with Mr Murphy’s real-time net worth estimated at around £2.3billion ($3.1bn) at the time of writing. 

According to his company profile, Mr Murthy, whose wife, Sudha, works as an author, is currently on the boards of Ford Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey and the United Nations Foundation.

He has also served on the boards of Cornell University, Wharton School, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Rhodes Trust at Oxford, alongside Yale University’s international advisory board.

On its website, Infosys says that Mr Murthy ‘introduced the concept of the 24-hour work day to the world’.

It states: ‘Mr Murthy conceptualized, articulated and implemented the Global Delivery Model (GDM) which has become the backbone of the Indian software industry. 

‘GDM is based on collaborative distributed software development principles and has resulted in the delivery of superior quality software to global customers delivered on time and within budget. Mr Murthy also introduced the concept of the 24-hour work day to the world.

‘Under Mr. Murthy’s leadership, Infosys became the leader in innovation in technical, managerial and leadership training, software technology, quality, productivity, customer focus, employee satisfaction, and physical and technological infrastructure.’

It was revealed last month that when taking on ministerial duties the Chancellor set up a 'blind trust', meaning he did not know where his assets were being invested. Pictured: Sunak with his wife, Akshata, and their children Krishna and Anoushka

It was revealed last month that when taking on ministerial duties the Chancellor set up a ‘blind trust’, meaning he did not know where his assets were being invested. Pictured: Sunak with his wife, Akshata, and their children Krishna and Anoushka

Sunak is locally he is dubbed the 'Maharaja of the Dales' (pictured, their magnificent Georgian manor in North Yorkshire)

Sunak is locally he is dubbed the ‘Maharaja of the Dales’ (pictured, their magnificent Georgian manor in North Yorkshire)

Rishi Sunak, pictured with his wife Akshata Murthy, was better known in India than Britain before he became Chancellor

Rishi Sunak, pictured with his wife Akshata Murthy, was better known in India than Britain before he became Chancellor

After taking a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, Southampton-born Sunak travelled on a Fulbright scholarship to Stanford University in California where met his future wife (pictured with her family, second from right)

After taking a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, Southampton-born Sunak travelled on a Fulbright scholarship to Stanford University in California where met his future wife (pictured with her family, second from right)

Murthy’s Millions: Akshata’s family business portfolio 

  • Combined shareholding in tech firm Infosys worth £1.7billion
  • Joint venture with Amazon, Cloudtail, in India worth £900m-a-year
  • Shareholding in UK firm which runs Jamie’s Italian restaurants and burger chain Wendy’s in India
  • Also holds shares in Koru Kids and is director of Digme Fitness 
  • Murthy is a shareholder or director in five other UK companies, including Mayfair outfitter which makes Eton College pupils’ tailcoats costing £2,500 each 
  • Akshata is also listed as a director of the UK arm of software company, Soroco, co-founded by her brother 
  • Investment firm Catamaran Ventures owned by father N. R. Narayana Murthy
  • Ms Murthy runs fashion label Akshata Designs 

Sunak and Akshata married in 2009 in her home city of Bangalore in a two-day ceremony attended by 1,000 guests. 

Before entering politics, Mr Sunak, who is now a multi-millionaire in his own right, studied at the £42,000-per-year Winchester College and later at Oxford University. 

During his time in business, he worked in California, India and Britain for various investment firms including Goldman Sachs. 

He later set up his own business, Theleme Partners, in 2010 with an initial fund of £536million. 

While building the hedge fund he spent a couple of days doing voluntary work for the Conservatives – which was when he decided he would like to go into politics full-time. 

Speaking about his decision to go into politics, he once explained: ‘It was my parents who motivated me, but not in a political way.

‘My dad was a GP, my mum a pharmacist, and I grew up working in their surgery; in the pharmacy; delivering medicines to people who couldn’t pick them up.

‘People would always stop and talk to me about my mum and dad, saying, ‘Oh, you’re Mrs Sunak’s son, Dr Sunak’s son.’ And then they’d have some story about how my parents had helped them, or their parents, or children, and I thought that was amazing.

‘They had done the same job in the same place for 30 years, and it was clear that they as individuals were able to have an amazing impact on the community around us, and that I found pretty inspiring. And that was my motivation for becoming an MP.’

Every year Sunak and his wife throw a summer garden party for local villagers at their magnificent Georgian £1.5million manor house in Kirby Sigston, just outside Northallerton, Yorkshire – leading to him being dubbed the ‘Maharaja of the Dales’.  

Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said the Chancellor appeared to have ‘taken the most minimalist approach possible’ to divulging information.

He told The Guardian: ‘Perhaps Rishi Sunak should carefully read the ‘Seven principles of Public Life’ to make sure he is fulfilling the two principles of ‘Honesty and Leadership’.’ 

But a Treasury spokesman said Mr Sunak had ‘followed the ministerial code to the letter in his declaration of interests’.

It follows Mr Sunak facing demands to reveal details of his financial interests last month, after it emerged he set up a ‘blind trust’ on becoming a minister.

The Chancellor deployed the arrangement, meaning that he does not know how his assets are being invested, when he was made Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July last year.

By setting up the 'blind trust' it means he does not have to disclose fuller details of his investment portfolio. Pictured: Sunak with his wife and children during the recent election

By setting up the ‘blind trust’ it means he does not have to disclose fuller details of his investment portfolio. Pictured: Sunak with his wife and children during the recent election 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is pictured with his wife, Akshata, and their two children during a Santa run

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is pictured with his wife, Akshata, and their two children during a Santa run 

The couple married in 2009 in her home city of Bangalore in a two-day ceremony attended by 1,000 guests

The couple married in 2009 in her home city of Bangalore in a two-day ceremony attended by 1,000 guests 

Before entering politics, Mr Sunak, who is now a multi-millionaire in his own right and a graduate of £42,000-per-year Winchester College and Oxford University graduate

Before entering politics, Mr Sunak, who is now a multi-millionaire in his own right and a graduate of £42,000-per-year Winchester College and Oxford University graduate 

But critics said there was still risk of conflict as Mr Sunak – reputed to be the richest MP – is aware what he put into the trust.

It also means he does not have to disclose fuller details of his investment portfolio. The presence of the trust was revealed in the latest register of ministerial interests.

It came as other official documents revealed that he did not take his salary for five months when he joined the Treasury last year. He waived the £34,000 top up to his MP’s salary until just before Christmas.

Theresa May also attracted controversy as she made a similar move when she became Prime Minister in 2016.

And in the mid-1990s the Tories attacked Tony Blair as it emerged he used a blind trust, when leader of the opposition, to fund his office.

Former standards tsar Sir Alex Allan, who quit his role last week after Boris Johnson overruled his conclusion that the Home Secretary Priti Patel breached the ministerial code, is said to have signed off on Sunak’s disclosures.

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