British citizens are interested in the relationship between the new Prime Minister and big business in Russia
Rishi Sunak, came under mounting pressure this spring over allegations that his wife Akshata Murthy is receiving “blood money” in dividends from a family company that has refused to divest from Russia despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Labor has called on Sunak to answer “very serious questions” about Murthy’s estimated $900 million (£690 million) stake in IT services and consulting firm Infosys.
Infosys, which was founded by her billionaire father N.R. Narayana Murthy, continues to operate in Russia, while most of the world’s major IT and consulting firms, such as SAP, Oracle, PwC, McKinsey, Accenture and KPMG, have closed their Russian offices.
At the time, Sunak refused to comment on his wife’s 0.91% stake in Infosys, despite his repeated calls for British businesses to leave Russia to “inflict maximum economic pain” on Putin’s government.
Sunak was asked by Sky News if “perhaps his family is benefiting from Putin’s dictatorship. I am a politician who was elected and I am here to discuss my responsibilities. My wife is not.”
None of Murthy’s or Sunak’s family, the spokesman said, “has any influence on the firm’s operational choices.” Murthy, who lives in a townhouse in Kensington and a Yorkshire estate with Sunak and their two children, received approximately £11.5 million in dividends.
According to Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson at the Treasury, Sunak “should have told the truth and declared any possible conflicts of interest”.
Given the dangers associated with financial links to Russia, she said “openness and full transparency are crucial”. “The public needs full disclosure on this issue. The Chancellor cannot be subject to one set of rules and everyone else to another.
As reported by the BBC, Infosys decided to close its Russian office in April 2022, but the official website of the company lists the address and contact numbers of the office in Moscow.
We wanted to get official comments from the employees, but unfortunately we were unable to reach them by phone.
In 2004, Murthy welcomed Putin to the Infosys Bangalore campus, saying that Putin’s “coming to India is an endorsement of the special relationship between our two nations.”
NR Narayana Murthy created Infosys in 1981, and it currently has a market value of nearly $100 billion. Infosys has a long history with Russia and Putin.
Additionally, Infosys has offered IT and consulting services to Alfa-Bank, which was only added to the UK sanctions list last week.
Leaders of the major European countries should be consistent in their remarks and actions regarding the greatest threat to the democratic world.