Labour demands answers from Rishi Sunak on Russian presence of company in which wife has £400m stake

Infosys promised to leave Moscow base after invasion of Ukraine

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 03 May 2022 00:26
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<p>Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty (Ian West/PA)</p>

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty (Ian West/PA)

Labour has written to Rishi Sunak demanding to know whether he or his family benefit from the continued presence of a company in Russia in which his wife holds a £400m stake.

Reports on Monday suggested that Indian-based IT giant Infosys – founded by the father of Mr Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty – is still operating in Moscow despite promising a month ago it was leaving.

Shadow economic secretary Tulip Siddiq called on the chancellor to clarify when the company’s Russian office will be shut down and whether he or any of his immediate family are benefiting from its continued operation.

Ms Murty – who last month gave up her non-dom tax status after it was revealed by The Independent – retains a 0.93 per cent share in Infosys, meaning she could gain from any profits made in Russia.

In her letter, Ms Siddiq said Mr Sunak would be aware that most professional services companies left Russia immediately after the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

But she said that, despite the chancellor’s call for companies to “inflict maximum economic pain” on Vladimir Putin’s regime and its own announcement that it would leave, there is evidence it has not yet done so.

“The Labour Party agrees that British and other multinational businesses should not be operating in Russia,” wrote Ms Siddiq. “The situation with Infosys is all the more urgent because members of your immediate family retain a stake in the firm. This means they could be profiting through companies operating in Putin’s terrible regime.”

She called on Mr Sunak to confirm whether he had sought to clarify when Infosys would pull out of Moscow, whether any of his family members were benefiting from its presence – including via the blind trust which oversees his financial affairs – and whether they would divest themselves of their stakes if this was the case.

“It is really important that the chancellor clarifies what is happening here and whether his immediate family is benefitting from Infosys’s continued presence in Russia,” said Ms Siddiq. “We can’t have a situation where a UK chancellor and his family maintain economic interests in the Putin regime.”

In a statement, Infosys said: “During the quarterly results, Infosys announced its decision to transition services from Russia to its global delivery centres.

“While the company does not have any active relationships with local Russian enterprises, we have a small team of fewer than 100 employees in Russia, which services some of our global clients. We are currently working closely with those clients that are being impacted to enable a smooth transition.”

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