Sunak says he’s staying as inquiry ordered into tax row
Rishi Sunak last night insisted he would not resign as Chancellor despite Tory party insiders saying the row over his wife’s tax status has damaged his standing.
Mr Sunak has referred himself to the UK government ethics chief Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, to review his declarations of interest and whether he has been fully transparent.
“I am confident that such a review of my declarations will find all relevant information was appropriately declared”, said Mr Sunak.
His wife, the multi-millionaire Indian heiress Akshata Murty, has agreed to pay UK taxes on her overseas income as the couple attempt to draw a line under the controversy.
However, Labour insisted there were “more questions” for the chancellor to answer about why she retained non-dom status and what tax she planned to pay in future.
There have been calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to move Mr Sunak to the Foreign Office and install current incumbent Liz Truss in Number 11, but this has been dismissed by Mr Johnson’s office.
An internal inquiry has also been launched to discover who leaked the tax information which some claim was deliberately timed to undermine Mr Sunak.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said the Sunak family tax arrangements were legal “but the question is whether it’s ethical”.
It emerged last week reported that Mr Sunak held a US ‘green card’ residency permit until October last year and filed US tax returns during more than six years as an MP and almost four years as a minister.
His green card status meant he was classed as a ‘permanent resident’ of the US while living in Downing Street.
His allies said he had consulted American lawyers and was confident he had broken no rules, emphasising that holding a green card meant he was liable to pay more tax.
Mr Sunak paid UK taxes in full on his British earnings, including his government salary, but until his green card lapsed last October was also required to account to the US authorities, potentially opening him to double taxation.