Starmer: Public should know if Carrie Johnson was fined in partygate, and if Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy benefits from Russian ties
Labour leader Keir Starmer has said the public should know if Prime Minister Boris Johnsons’s wife Carrie was given a fine due to partygate, and if Rishi Sunak’s wife benefits from business ties in Russia.
The leader of the opposition was asked whether there was any comparison between Mrs Johnson being fined over the lockdown scandal, and his own partner “getting a parking ticket”, in terms of public interest.
He told Sky News there was a “huge difference” between the wife of the prime minister “breaking the rules made by the prime minister” and any other situation.
Starmer added he was “not focusing on Carrie” and he did “agree with the general argument that families of politicians shouldn’t be dragged in”, but her potential rule-breaking should be made public.
This comes after calls were made for Rishi Sunak was criticised by a Ukrainian MP over his wife’s family firm – which is still operating is Russia.
Akshata Murthy, who is married to the chancellor of the exchequer, has been accused of collecting millions in “blood money” dividends. Her estimated 0.91% stake in Infosys, which was founded by her father Narayana, stands at a cool £690m.
Starmer, told Sky News, that while Sunak’s wife should not be brought into political rows, there remained a “fundamental question of principle here, which is, whether their household benefiting from money made in Russia, when the government’s put in place sanctions.
“That is in the public interest for us to have an answer”.
He added the government had “quite rightly” said no firms should do business in Russia while it wages war on Ukraine, and “we should be doing everything we can not just to make life more difficult in Russia, but to cripple their ability to function”.
This is “not a personal attack” on Sunak and Murthy, and “I would have thought the chancellor would actually want to come clean on this and say, I can be very clear that my household doesn’t benefit from any money that’s come in any way, from Russia.
“It would actually help his wife if he just answered that question.
Earlier in the week the chancellor was questioned about his wife’s business links in Russia on Sky News, where he was asked if his family was “potentially benefiting from Putin’s regime”.
He responded: “I don’t think that’s the case. I am an elected politician and I am here to talk about what I am responsible for. My wife is not.”