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by Staff reporter
17 April 2023
Rishi Sunak faces Commons watchdog probe over declaration of interest

Rishi Sunak faces Commons watchdog probe over declaration of interest

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is being investigated by the Commons Standards Commissioner over whether he failed to properly declare an interest.

The commissioner has announced that it is investigating a possible failure by the PM into a declaration of interest, which is thought to be related to his wife's shares in a childcare agency.

Sunak has been criticised for not mentioning Akshata Murty's links to a company which benefited from a pilot of incentive payments for new childminders in the spring Budget, as reported by the i newspaper.

Murty is a shareholder in the agency Koru Kids, a link Sunak did not mention when questioned by MPs last month.

The PM has written to the Liaison Committee to say he did declare his family's link to Koru Kids to the Cabinet Office in the proper way. In the letter to the committee, Sunak wrote: "I note that there has been some media coverage relating to the minority stake my wife has in relation to the company Koru Kids.

"I was being asked questions by the committee in my capacity as prime minister. I would like to clarify for the parliamentary record that this interest has rightly been declared to the Cabinet Office."

The Liberal Democrats previously called for an investigation into the matter.

In reaction to the news, Lib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said: "Another day and another accusation of a Conservative prime minister bending the rules. 

"This is on the same day that Rishi Sunak may have broken election rules for his government announcement today.

"After months of Conservative sleaze and scandal, the public just want a government which is focused on the country, rather than saving their own skin."

The Lib Dems wrote to the cabinet secretary on Monday to demand an investigation into whether the government has "ignored" pre-election rules on policy announcements with Sunak's speech on expanding maths education. Local elections are taking place across England on 4 May.

Responding to the standard commissioner's announcement, a No 10 spokesperson said: "We are happy to assist the Commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a ministerial interest."

Read more on PoliticsHome.

 

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