Rishi Sunak “orders” an investigation into who leaked his wife’s tax status

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak is reportedly determined to find out who leaked his wife’s controversial tax status (Image: Reuters/Rex)

Rishi Sunak has reportedly ordered an investigation to find out who leaked details about his wife’s tax status to the media.

Akshata Murty dramatically announced she would be paying UK taxes on her worldwide income amid a political storm over her being a ‘non-dom’ for tax reasons.

Labor accused Mr Sunak of hypocrisy and said the agreement may have saved his family tens of millions of pounds while he collected taxes for millions of others.

Sky News is now reporting that the Chancellor personally ordered the review, with a source close to revealing it is being carried out “with a view to possible prosecution” as it is a crime to reveal someone’s tax status.

Mr Sunak’s team are believed to be a Labor-supporting official dubbed a ‘red throat’ who shared the information with The Independent newspaper, according to The Sunday Times.

A senior government official reportedly said: “There will be a full investigation by HM’s Cabinet Office and Treasury Department into who had this information and whether anyone requested this information.

“Revealing an individual’s tax status is a criminal offence.”

Some experts have estimated Ms Murty, who remains an Indian citizen, has saved £20million by not having to pay tax on her shares in Infosys, an Indian IT company founded by her billionaire father.

File photo dated 09/02/22 of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak with his wife Akshata Murthy, as the Chancellor has defended his wife after she was revealed to have tax-reducing non-domicile status, his allies have reportedly accused No. 10 to be responsible for the briefings. PA photo. Issue date: Friday April 8, 2022. Rishi Sunak said his wife Akshata Murty, who is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds, had done nothing wrong in choosing a financial arrangement, meaning she has no legal obligation to be in the UK Taxes to be paid on foreign income. See PA story POLITICS Murty. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy may have saved millions of pounds while she was a ‘non-dom’ (Image: PA)

The disclosure meant Mr Sunak’s approval ratings took another hit after he was criticized in last month’s spring statement for not doing enough to support families struggling with the cost of living crisis.

A poll showed that his approval rating has fallen three points to 28% since the end of March, while his disapproval rating has risen eight points to 43%, giving him a net rating of -15 (down 15).

It has led to questions among Tory MPs whether the chancellor – long viewed as a potential successor to Boris Johnson – has the political judgment required for the top job.

Meanwhile, sources close to Mr Sunak downplayed reports that he was moving his wife and two daughters from Downing Street to avoid the media glare.

Images followed of moving trucks arriving on the street on Saturday to take away their belongings.

However, a source said they had always planned to spend more time at their west London home as their older daughter Krishna was entering her final years of primary school before moving on to secondary school.

Mr Sunak is expected to stay at Downing Street during the week and join them at the weekend.

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Justin Scacco

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