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

26 March 2022, 08:20

Akshata Murthy owns a stake "worth hundreds of millions" in Infosys, founded by her father (right), which is still operating in Moscow
Akshata Murthy owns a stake "worth hundreds of millions" in Infosys, founded by her father, which is still operating in Moscow. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The Chancellor is facing questions over his wife's ties to an IT firm which continues to operate in Russia, after it was reported she received £12million from the company.

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Rishi Sunak has been warned he has "very serious questions to answer" after it was revealed that his wife receives millions from her shareholdings in the IT and consultancy business Infosys.

Akshata Murthy owns a stake "worth hundreds of millions" in the company, founded by her father, which is still operating in Moscow despite the Chancellors pleas to businesses to stop trade in Russia.

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

Infosys is still currently operating in Russia despite other competitor companies PwC, KPMG and Accenture pulling out of the country over the Ukraine invasion.

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Rishi Sunak previously defended his wife over accusations that his family is "benefiting" from Vladimir Putin’s regime.

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.

Adding: "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."

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

Whilst Infosys is India's second largest IT firm with a market capitalisation of £35.67 billion and according to the annual report, Ms Murty, 40, holds a 0.91 per cent stake.

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A spokesman for the Chancellor said: "Ms Murty is one of thousands of minority shareholders in the company. It is a public company and neither her nor any member of her family have any involvement in the operational decisions of the company."

Labour warned that Mr Sunak has 'very serious questions to answer' over Ms Murthy's shares.

A spokesman for Infosys said it "supports and advocates for peace between Russia and Ukraine. 

Adding: "Infosys has a small team of employees based out of Russia that services some of our global clients, locally. We do not have any active business relationships with local Russian enterprises. 

"A key priority for Infosys in times of adversity is to continue extending support to the community. The company has committed $1 million towards relief efforts for the victims of war from Ukraine."