‘Keep families out of it’: Johnson dodges question on Sunak wife tax affairs

Rishi Sunak has admitted to holding a US green card while chancellor and returning it only after his first official visit to the United States some 18 months after he assumed office.

The latest revelation came as Boris Johnson said he was unaware of Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty’s non-domicile tax status, as uncovered by The Independent this week.

At a Downing Street press conference, the prime minister backed Mr Sunak as doing an “absolutely outstanding job” and said any briefings against the chancellor “certainly aren’t coming from us at No 10”, adding: “Heaven knows where they are coming from.”

Earlier, senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood called for a review into non-domicile tax rules. He said the current rules “are out of date” but insisted this did not mean the chancellor or his wife had broken the law.

Labor’s Emily Thornberry accused Ms Murty of being in the “0.1 per cent of the population” who “take advantage” of the non-dom system “in order to not pay as much tax”.

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My colleague Adam Forest has the breaking story that Rishi Sunak has admitted to holding a US green card while chancellor, which you can refresh for updates:

Andy Gregory8 April 2022 16:56


Sunak admits holding US green card while chancellor

Rishi Sunak has said that he held a green card while living and working in the US, but returned it following his first official trip to the US as chancellor.

Mr Sunak became chancellor in February 2020, and a trip to Washington DC some 18 months later – last October – was described by Sky News at the time as his “first official visit” to the US.

A spokeswoman for Mr Sunak said: “Rishi Sunak had a green card when he lived and worked in the US.

“Under US law, you are not presumed to be a US resident just by dint of holding a green card. Furthermore, from a US immigration perspective, it is presumed that permanent resident status is automatically abandoned after prolonged absences from the US.

“At the same time, one is required to file US tax returns. Rishi Sunak followed all guidance and continued to file US tax returns, but specifically as a non-resident, in full compliance with the law.

“As required under US law and as advised, he continued to use his green card for travel purposes. Upon his first trip to the US in a Government capacity as Chancellor, he discussed the appropriate course of action with the US authorities. At that point it was considered best to return his green card, which he did immediately.

“All laws and rules have been followed and full have been paid where required in the taxes duration he held his green card.”

Andy Gregory8 April 2022 16:50


‘Heaven knows where they are coming from:’ PM denies Sunak ‘briefings’ coming from No 10

Boris Johnson has said he did not know Rishi Sunak’s wife had non-dom tax status – and emphatically denied briefing against his chancellor.

“If there are briefings, the briefing certainly aren’t coming from us at No 10 – heaven knows where they are coming from,” the prime minister told a Downing Street press conference.

“I think that Rishi is doing an absolutely outstanding job.”

Mr Johnson insisted Boris Johnson insisted that Mr Sunak had “done absolutely everything he was required to do”, after it was reported that he held a US green card for a period while chancellor.

Andy Gregory8 April 2022 16:26


‘Families shouldn’t be dragged into politics’: PM defends Sunak

Boris Johnson has dodged a question on Akshata Murty’s non-dom status.

Asked if Rishi Sunak should provide more details on his family’s tax affairs, Mr Johnson told a No 10 press conference: “I think the chancellor Rishi Sunak is doing an absolutely outstanding job.

“As far as possible, as I said yesterday, I don’t think people’s families should be dragged into things.”

The PM was speaking after a meeting with German chancellor, at Downing Street, about the situation in Ukraine.

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 16:07


Watch: Patel denies visa checks ‘slowing’ arrival of Ukrainian refugees

Priti Patel denies visa checks ‘slowing’ arrival of Ukrainian refugees.mp4

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 15:59


Lib Dems call for Whitehall investigation into Sunak and US green card claims

Our politics reporter Adam Forest writes:

The Liberal Democrats have called for the cabinet secretary to launch an investigation into Chancellor Rishi Sunak after reports emerged that he previously held a US Green Card.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey has written to the cabinet secretary Simon Case – and the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests Lord Geidt – urging them to open an investigation into whether Sunak broke the ministerial code by failing to declare his residency in the US.

Sir Ed Davey MP: “How could the man who is responsible for UK tax policy regard any permanent residency status for the United States as acceptable? This would be a huge conflict of interest – and a serious breach of the ministerial code.”

“Rishi Sunak must come clean about his own financial arrangements and whether he has ever held a Green Card. If he will not, then we need an independent investigation to get to the bottom of this.”

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 15:35


What are India’s non-dom tax rules and why might Sunak’s wife benefit from them?

British Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing questions after The Independent revealed that his wife, Akshata Murthy, pays no tax in the UK on her vast foreign earnings, potentially saving her millions of pounds.

In a statement on Thursday, the chancellor defended his family’s financial affairs and hit out at what he called “smears” directed at his family, adding that scrutiny of his wife was unfair because she is a “private citizen”.

To understand Ms Murthy’s tax liability in India, experts said that is important to first clarify whether she is a resident or non-resident taxpayer in the country, writes Sravasti Dasgupta.

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 15:33


Watch: Starmer says Sunak must ‘come clean’ on family tax affairs

Keir Starmer says Rishi Sunak must ‘come clean’ on family tax affairs

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 15:06


Dame Cressida warns against ‘politicization of policing’ in final days as commissioner

Outgoing Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick has warned against the “politicization of policing”, saying this is “a threat not just to policing but to trust in the whole criminal justice system”.

She left Scotland Yard for the final time this morning – though her official end of employment date with the Met is 24 April – and was applauded by officers as she walked out.

Sky’s Scott Beasley reports:

In a “letter to London”, which she wrote to mark the end of her post, Dame Cressida said:

“Of course as I look back there is more I wish we had achieved. We hear the criticism, know not everyone has confidence in us to provide a good service when they need us, and have seen among us those whose horrific actions have let you all, and us, down so terribly.

“Each one drives us to get better, to root out those who don’t uphold our standards and don’t deserve to wear our uniform. To improve our response so all our communities feel protected by us.

“We are listening and acting on what you tell us so we can change for the better. Just this week we launched our violence against women and girls plan, shaped by the views of hundreds of Londoners.

“The current politicization of policing is a threat not just to policing but to trust in the whole criminal justice system. Operational independence from local and central government is crucial for an effective democracy and is a model respected around the world. We must treasure all and protect it.”

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 15:02


Sunak: Wife’s non-dom tax status ‘not unusual’, claims minister

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his allies have hit out at “unpleasant smears” as he came under scrutiny over his wife’s tax-reducing non-domiciled status, while No 10 denied being behind the leaks.

Ms Murty, who married the chancellor in 2009, has confirmed she paid £30,000 to hold non-dom status after The Independent revealed the arrangement earlier this week.

Mr Sunak has blamed Labor for the tax details emerging, but his allies have told newspapers that they suspect No 10 of trying to undermine the chancellor – who has been seen as a favorite to succeed Boris Johnson in any leadership challenge. A No 10 spokeswoman denied the PM’s office was sharing any details.

Sam Hancock8 April 2022 14:49

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