Business Sunak's wife owns shares in 'to close Russia office' after outcry

1 April 2022, 18:04 | Updated: 1 April 2022, 19:27

Rishi Sunak and his wife
Rishi Sunak and his wife. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Indian tech giant Infosys, which Rishi Sunak's wife owns shares in, is closing its office in Russia in response to the Ukraine invasion.

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It comes after it was revealed last week that Akshata Murty owned shares thought to be "worth hundreds of millions", with the company having been founded by her father.

Several global IT firms suspended operations due to the Ukraine invasion but Infosys kept "a small team... based out of Russia that services some of our global clients".

It later said in a statement: "We do not have any active business relationships with local Russian enterprises."

Read more: Rishi Sunak's wife 'gets £12million in dividends' from company still operating in Russia

Read more: 'Blood money': Ukrainian MP slams Sunak's wife for Russian operation

Ukrainian MP brands Sunak's wife's dividend 'blood money'

However, Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko accused the company of effectively sponsoring the killing of Ukrainians.

She said companies were helping Vladimir Putin "buy the bullets that are killing Ukrainian children, Ukrainian women."

She added: "Every company has the choice to make, you can run the business as usual and make your money, but you have to live with the fact it's bloody money, and bloody trade."

The Chancellor was previously warned he had "very serious questions to answer" over the issue, with Western companies leaving Russia following the invasion.

When asked if he was "giving advice to others that you’re not following in your own home", Mr Sunak told Sky News: "I'm an elected politician, and I’m here to talk to you about what I’m responsible for. My wife is not."

He added: "I don't think that’s the case, and as I said the operations of all companies are up to them. 

"We’ve put in place significant sanctions and all the companies we are responsible for are following those as they rightly should, sending a very strong message to Putin’s aggression."

Mr Sunak most recently compared the outcry towards his wife to that of Will Smith, who controversially slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars after he joked about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

According to the Daily Mail, over the past year Infosys made two dividend payments to Ms Murthy totalling around £11.7million.

She is one of the wealthiest women in Britain, with a fortune reportedly even larger than the Queen's.

Infosys refused to comment.

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