Chancellor Rishi Sunak has referred himself to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s independent adviser on ministerial interests, Lord Geidt, over his own financial matters
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Rishi Sunak has asked the Prime Minister for an investigation into his own financial affairs.
The under-fire Chancellor took the dramatic step tonight of approaching Boris Johnson’s independent adviser on ministerial interests, Lord Geidt.
It comes hours after he ordered a Whitehall inquiry into how his wife’s tax rulings were leaked to the media.
Sunak’s political future hangs in the balance as he faces new demands to sort out his tax affairs and US immigration status.
The Tory minister tried to hide behind claims that he and his billionaire heiress Akshata Murthy were the victims of a “smear campaign” after it was revealed she had avoided paying British taxes as a non-Dom.
Andrew Parsons / No. 10 Downing Street)
And the Chancellor, whose spring declaration last month failed to help struggling families facing the biggest drop in living standards in Britain since the days of rationing, was reportedly considering quitting after being hit by a series of separate claims.
His team has previously argued that all explanations on the Register of Ministerial Interests are correct.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday evening, the Chancellor said: “I have always played by the rules and I hope that such a review will bring further clarity.”
In a letter to Boris Johnson, Mr Sunak said his “primary concern” was to maintain public confidence.
“My primary concern is that the public retains confidence in the answers given, and I believe the best way to achieve that is to ensure that those answers are fully independent, without bias or favouritism,” he said.
“To that end, I would recommend that Lord Geidt publish all of his conclusions.
“I am confident that such verification of my declarations will show that all relevant information has been properly declared.
“I have followed the advice of officials on matters of decency and disclosure throughout my ministerial career and will continue to do so.”
The White House has been urged to investigate after the chancellor admitted to holding a US green card while chancellor secretaries of state are allegedly not allowed to do so.
Mr Sunak has been hit by reports that he is listed as a beneficiary of tax haven trusts in the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands, despite his pledge to close tax loopholes.
Meanwhile, Infosys, an Indian company his wife owns $700 million in shares, is investigating.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it was a matter of “fundamental fairness” that the Chancellor’s family paid taxes the same as everyone else.
“I don’t think the chancellor understands that. It raises real questions about his judgement,” she told BBC1’s Sunday Morning programme.
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Police Secretary Kit Malthouse admitted Ms Murthy’s status as a Non-Dom – something she gave up last week amid rapid public anger – was “not ideal” but rushed to defend Mr Sunak to colleagues who are damaging the career of the Chancellor declared as “toast”. .
He said the Chancellor was a “smart, astute, committed politician” who helped steer the economy through the worst of the pandemic.
Ms Murty, who remains an Indian citizen, announced dramatically on Friday that she would now pay UK tax on all of her worldwide income as she did not want her tax status to be “a distraction”.
It has been estimated that her Non-Dom status could have saved her £20m in tax on dividends on her shares.
Mr Malthouse admitted it was “not a brilliant time” to announce the details as the country grappled with a cost of living crisis.
“Rishi Sunak has been a remarkable force for good in this country over the past two years,” he said.
“He rolled out some incredible support programs at tremendous speed during the pandemic.”
“It’s not ideal, but if we sign up for this job we all know there will be rough times and smooth times,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mr Sunak have downplayed reports that he was moving his wife and two daughters from Downing Street to avoid the media glare.
The Sunday Mirror published images of removal vans arriving on the street to take their belongings on Saturday.
However, a source said they had always planned to spend more time at their west London home as their older daughter Krishna entered her final years of primary school before moving on to secondary school.
Mr Sunak is still expected to remain at Downing Street during the week while joining them at the weekend.
Labor’s Angela Rayner said: “The chaos that the Conservatives have caused over the last week must end.
“A fish rots from the head. It is the prime minister’s responsibility to end this debacle by ensuring standards are upheld throughout his cabinet.
“When it comes to the Tories raising taxes on working people, it seems to be one rule for them and another for the rest of us.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-chancellor-rishi-sunak-asks-26681766 Chancellor Rishi Sunak asks Prime Minister to investigate his OWN financial affairs