5.9k Share this

Rishi Sunak has been cleared of wrong-doing today over his personal tax affairs and those of his non-dom wife.

The Chancellor faced criticism after it was revealed he had held a US Green Card – which carries American residency and tax requirements – while in office.

There was also uproar over Akshata Murty’s tax status and her shareholding in Indian tech firm Infosys, while living in a grace-and-favour apartment in Downing Street

But Lord Geidt, the advisor on ministerial standards today cleared Mr Sunak of wrongdoing, after the Chancellor referred himself for investigation.

In advice to the Prime Minister, Lord Geidt wrote: ‘I advise that the requirements of the ministerial code have been adhered to by the Chancellor and that he has been assiduous in meeting his obligations and in engaging with this investigation.

‘In reaching these judgments, I am confined to the question of conflicts of interest and the requirements of the ministerial code.

‘My role does not touch on any wider question of the merits of such interests or arrangements.’

The Chancellor faced criticism after it was revealed he had held a US Green Card while in office

The Chancellor faced criticism after it was revealed he had held a US Green Card while in office

The Chancellor faced criticism after it was revealed he had held a US Green Card while in office

There was also uproar over Akshata Murty's tax status and her shareholding in Indian tech firm Infosys, while living in Downing Street

There was also uproar over Akshata Murty's tax status and her shareholding in Indian tech firm Infosys, while living in Downing Street

 There was also uproar over Akshata Murty’s tax status and her shareholding in Indian tech firm Infosys, while living in Downing Street

But Lord Geidt, the advisor on ministerial standards today cleared him of wrongdoing, saying he had been 'has been assiduous in meeting his obligations'

But Lord Geidt, the advisor on ministerial standards today cleared him of wrongdoing, saying he had been 'has been assiduous in meeting his obligations'

But Lord Geidt, the advisor on ministerial standards today cleared him of wrongdoing, saying he had been ‘has been assiduous in meeting his obligations’

Green cards allows foreign nationals to ‘live and work permanently’ in the US

The Green Card system is a way the United States allows foreign nationals to live and word permanently in the country without becoming a full citizen.

It is formally known as ‘permanent resident status’ but gained its common name because of the coloured card it was once printed on.

People can gain one through several different routes. As well as relatives of full US citizens, foreign nationals wishing to live and work in the United States can also apply. 

The system is open to those who can demonstrate ‘extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or … are a multinational manager or executive who meets certain criteria’.

Mr Sunak met his wife at University in California and they lived abroad before Mr Sunak was elected MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire in 2015.

He worked in California, India and Britain for various investment firms including Goldman Sachs.

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

Once you get a card you are expected to make the US ‘your permanent home’. 

Those with green card status are expected to pay full US taxes on their global earnings, irrespective of taxes he would pay in the UK or elsewhere.

It means he would not have saved money, rather he would have had to pay tax twice on some of his income, in the US and the UK.  

<!—->

Advertisement

Lord Geidt found two instances where Ms Murty’s tax status ‘could have given rise to a conflict of interest’ for the Chancellor.

But he found in the first instance the issue was properly declared, and in the second Mr Sunak assured a Treasury change for some non-dom individuals did not affect his wife.

The adviser said he does not believe Mr Sunak having held a US green card ‘would constitute an inherent conflict of interest’.

Lord Geidt said he asked the Treasury to search for any policy that would have affected holders of the card and Mr Sunak’s department responded with ‘no such evidence’.

He was also satisfied there is no conflict of interest over Mr Sunak’s blind investment trust after the Chancellor assured he does not have ‘live knowledge’ of the contents.

Lord Geidt was also satisfied Ms Murty’s shareholding in Infosys, an Indian IT company founded by her father, was ‘properly declared’ and that it held no Treasury contracts during her husband’s tenure.

Mr Sunak today insisted he does not believe allies of Boris Johnson were behind the leaks as he answered questions from users of the Mumsnet internet forum.

It has previously been speculated that Number 10 were behind the revelations about the Chancellor’s family finances due to his position as a leadership rival to Mr Johnson, while others close to the PM were said not to have forgotten Mr Sunak’s less-than-fulsome support for Mr Johnson over the Partygate scandal.

Mr Sunak was asked by one Mumsnet user how he can have the ‘understanding and empathy about what it is like to struggle’ by someone who said they ‘couldn’t imagine what it is like to live a life in your very privileged financial position’.

Mr Sunak said he hoped people ‘can judge me on my actions’, as he accepted he was in a ‘fortunate position’ but stressed his family history of emigrating to the UK ‘with very little’.

Earlier this month senior Tories and Labour rounded on the Chancellor after it was revealed he held a US Green Card for a year into his term leading the Treasury. 

While the status would not save him any money it carries a responsibility to make the United States ‘your permanent home’.

The revelation came after Mr Sunak went on the attack over ‘smears’ against his heiress wife Ms Murty over her non-dom tax status. 

Rishi Sunak was hit by a political backlash over the news that his heiress wife Akshata Murty is domiciled in India for tax purposes

Rishi Sunak was hit by a political backlash over the news that his heiress wife Akshata Murty is domiciled in India for tax purposes

Sunak old the Sun: 'I'm an elected politician. So I know what I signed up for. It's different when people are trying to attack you by coming at your family and particularly your wife. It's unpleasant, especially when she hasn't done anything wrong'

Sunak old the Sun: 'I'm an elected politician. So I know what I signed up for. It's different when people are trying to attack you by coming at your family and particularly your wife. It's unpleasant, especially when she hasn't done anything wrong'

Rishi Sunak was hit by a political backlash over the news that his heiress wife Akshata Murty is domiciled in India for tax purposes

This is the extraordinary web of homes and businesses with links to Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata, a heiress to a billion dollar fortune

This is the extraordinary web of homes and businesses with links to Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata, a heiress to a billion dollar fortune

This is the extraordinary web of homes and businesses with links to Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata, a heiress to a billion dollar fortune

Ms Murty has legally avoided paying a huge UK tax bill by paying £30,000 a year to register as based in India.

But the Chancellor insisted she hasn’t ‘done anything wrong’ while accusing his critics of ‘smearing her to get at him’. 

The India-born 42-year-old later said she would give up her right to pay only ‘international tax’ on her foreign fortune. 

The move, designed to save Mr Sunak’s political career, is likely to cost Ms Murty millions of pounds a year in extra tax. 

Allies of Mr Sunak had already suggested his situation had previously been cleared by the peer.

In his May 2021 annual statement the independent adviser on ministers interests said he had ‘gone through the individual returns’ of members of the Cabinet, including their tax affairs and the interested of their spouses.

He went on to say that ‘any issues have been resolved to my satisfaction’, suggesting he was happy with Akshata Murty’s tax status, her shareholding in Indian tech firm Infosys, and the Green Card.

Rishi’s non-dom wife’s global empire: Billionaire heiress boasts properties worth £15m as well as £727m shares in her father’s Bangalore-based IT firm – and has links to tax-reducing Mauritian company that owns Jamie’s Italian and Wendy’s in India

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter
 

The extraordinary £15million property portfolio and £700million-plus fortune Chancellor Rishi Sunak shares with his non-dom wife has been laid bare by MailOnline.

The bulk of Akshata’ Murtys wealth comes from Infosys, the Bangalore-based IT firm founded by her now billionaire father.

It is reported she holds a 0.91 per cent stake, around 39million shares, worth about £727million. Experts say this is an increase of more than £200million compared to a year ago, due to a jump in the share price during the pandemic.

But her non-dom status meant 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, according to The Times.

Akshata also owns other investments, including a business that funnels investments through Mauritius. International Market Management is funding the expansion of franchise restaurants in India, including Jamie Oliver’s Italian chain that failed in the UK and US burger brand Wendy’s. This entirely legal structure allows them to reduce taxes paid in India.

The couple have at least four properties. A £1million flat in Kensington, a nearby mews house worth £7million and a £2million mansion in Rishi’s Yorkshire constituency, where he is nicknamed the ‘Maharaja of the Dales’. They also have a £5.5million penthouse in California, overlooking Santa Monica pier, which they use in the holidays.

Homes

Kensington Mews – worth £7million      

Before into Downing Street, the family lived here in their £7m London mews. They paid £4.5m, reportedly cash, in 2010

Before into Downing Street, the family lived here in their £7m London mews. They paid £4.5m, reportedly cash, in 2010

Before into Downing Street, the family lived here in their £7m London mews. They paid £4.5m, reportedly cash, in 2010

Rishi and Akshata’s five-bedroom West London property, tucked away in an exclusive corner of Kensington has been described as the couple’s main home, although they have spent most of their time in the two-bed Downing Street flat that comes with the Chancellor’s job.

An insider has said the family live above No 10 because his security people ‘won’t allow anything else’.

The couple have made a huge profit on their mews, having bought it for £4.5million, reportedly in cash, in 2010 – a year after they married in India.

The Kensington house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and two reception rooms spread across four storeys, as well as access to a private garden.      

Kensington flat – worth £1million 

Richi Sunak has this crash pad in West London said to be used by family and friends when they need it

Richi Sunak has this crash pad in West London said to be used by family and friends when they need it

Richi Sunak has this crash pad in West London said to be used by family and friends when they need it

Rishi Sunak bought a first floor flat in the heart of Kensington, which is understood to be kept empty.

He and Akshata are reported to leave it free for friends and visiting relatives to use when visiting the capital.

It sits in a block on a busy road in West London road, close to a Tube station. 

Rishi Sunak’s Yorkshire home – £2million

The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire

The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire

The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire

The family also own a remote country abode in  a Yorkshire village. 

Set on a 12-acre plot of land near Northallerton, the Georgian mansion is thought to cost around £1.5million, boasting an ornamental lake and a recently built pool on the property. It is now said to be worth £500,000 more than they paid for it. 

The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire.

Councillors have approved plans for a new building on farmland to house a swimming pool, gym and shower facilities, along with an adjoining outdoor tennis court.

No doubt the Chancellor will be keen to get value for money, but even at a conservative estimate the project is likely to cost more than £400,000.

But that won’t trouble the former hedge fund financier, whose wife Akshata is a fashion designer and daughter of an Indian tech billionaire.

The couple, who have two daughters, often spend weekends at the Grade II-listed 19th century former vicarage in his North Yorkshire constituency.

And once the L-shaped building, complete with stone walls and Welsh slate roof, is completed there will be no shortage of healthy and fun activities for them to do.

Mr Sunak plans to build a 40ft by 16ft indoor pool. In the same building will be a gym which will contain a mirrored wall and ballet barre, perhaps for his daughters.

There’s also going to be a television fixed to the wall nearby, enabling them to follow fitness or dance videos.

The Chancellor has previously admitted being a devotee of keeping fit on a Peloton bike – which costs £1,750, plus a monthly membership of £39 – and a treadmill.

Santa Monica, California – £5.5million

Rishi and his wife lived together in this Santa Monica penthouse, which they use for holidays and trips to California

Rishi and his wife lived together in this Santa Monica penthouse, which they use for holidays and trips to California

Rishi and his wife lived together in this Santa Monica penthouse, which they use for holidays and trips to California

The penthouse flat, which the couple are reported to be visiting over the Easter holidays, is valued at £5.5million ($7.2m) 

It boasts panoramic views of the world-famous Santa Monica pier and the Pacific ocean. Ms Murthy bought the apartment – one of four in the Waverly complex on Ocean Avenue – directly from the developer in June 2014 for an undisclosed fee. But it will be less than it’s worth now.

The property is described as their holiday home, with his wife and two children believed to spend some of the school holidays there.    

Business interests  

Infosys – shares worth £727million

Akshata Murty, the Chancellor’s wife, owns 0.93pc or 39m shares in Infosys, the Indian technology company founded by her billionaire father.

Her stake is worth about £727m today, an increase of more than £200m compared to a year ago due to a jump in the share price. 

The company is headquartered in Bangalore. 

In the past year Infosys made two dividend payments that would have netted Ms Murthy around £11.7million through her 0.93 per cent holding in the company.

As per the Indian domestic income-tax laws, dividend income from shares of an Indian company is subject to tax at 20%. 

Mauritius – £500,000 investment

According to the Guardian, Ms Murthy bought a 5 per cent share in International Market Management (IMM) for £500,000 in 2014. 

IMM is said to funnel its investments through a “letterbox” in Mauritius – with no staff – to reduce the taxes paid in India. While this is not illegal, this system is controversial because it will reduce tax liability.

IMM was founded in 2014 by David Stewart with funding for the company raised from “a group of wealthy friends” including the Chancellor’s wife, the newspaper said.

The company follows a structure where investments are funnelled through an intermediary company – called IMM Associates Mauritius.

They then invest in two Indian subsidiaries which operate restaurants in India. These include Jamie Oliver’s 11 Jamie’s Italian restaurants there. IMM also funds nine Wendy’s burger restaurants in her home country.

Catamaran Ventures – $1bn fund used to store her and her family’s vast personal wealth

Ms Murty is listed on LinkedIn as being director of capital and private equity firm Catamaran Ventures, which is headquartered in Bangalore. Any salary or shares would also be taxed at Indian rates. This was set up by her father in 2010. It has $1billion in assets. It also has an office in London and Boston.

Murthy is also a director of Catamaran Ventures UK, which she set up with her husband, who resigned as a director in 2015 and transferred his shares to his wife. In 2020 Catamaran listed the value of its investments as £3.5 million, up from £1.5 million in 2019. 

But record a net liability position of £226,572 – the difference between its assets and debts – meaning it is reliant on Murthy to meet its financial obligations. She gave her start-up investment company a £4.3 million loan in 2020. 

New and Lingwood – unknown value

Akshata, is the director of the holding company for New & Lingwood, an official outfitter to Eton which offers items such as £2,750 silk dressing gowns.

The London-based firm, owned by a private equity firm, New York based POP Capital, also received money under the Treasury’s multi-billion-pound furlough scheme. 

Rishi Sunak faced questions over his alleged failure to publicly declare the fact that his wife is a director.  

Akshata Designs – Collapsed

After Stanford, she joined a Dutch clean technology incubator fund in San Francisco as marketing director in 2007, but left quickly to start her own fashion label, Akshata Designs, around the time she married Rishi in 2009. 

The business, however, collapsed within three years.

Digme Fitness – collapsed

The high-end fitness chain backed by Rishi Sunak’s millionaire wife collapsed during the pandemic after receiving taxpayer-backed furlough payments of up to £630,000.

Digme Fitness, which called in creditors last month, owes around £6.1million in what is understood to be unpaid VAT and PAYE, and counts Akshata Murthy, 41, among its directors. 

Ms Murthy, the Chancellor’s wife, owned less than five per cent of the company – which went bust after lockdown measures forced it to reinvent itself as an online-only business.

Source: Daily Mail

5.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Kevin Kiley Warns California Is a ‘Preview’ for Biden’s America

Kevin Kiley, a Trump-endorsed congressional candidate for California’s third district, joined Breitbart News…

The stars you NEVER knew appeared in Silent Witness including Daisy Ridley and Jodie Comer

Fans of BBC’s Silent Witness are gearing up for the return of…

EXCLUSIVE Kourtney Kardashian to sport a long headdress train and walk down the aisle to Ave Maria

They’re saying ‘I do’ for a third time this weekend in Portofino,…

Creator of ‘Star Wars’ X-wing and Death Star dies at 90 after battle with Alzheimer’s

Colin Cantwell, the longtime Hollywood concept artist who designed several iconic spacecraft…

Exasperated George Clooney, 61, grimaces as he waves down boats motoring into shot

Exclusive: CUT! An exasperated George Clooney, 61, grimaces as he waves down…

Islamic Mufti Sentences Man to Death for Murder of Priest

A criminal court in Alexandria, Egypt, sentenced a man to death on Wednesday…

Dave Chappelle’s attacker speaks for first time: says he was ‘triggered’ by the comedian’s jokes

The man who attacked Dave Chappelle on stage at a Los Angeles comedy…

Leaked pictures show Boris Johnson raising a glass after adviser’s last day

Downing Street scrambled to defend Boris Johnson last night after pictures emerged…