How can a man as insanely rich as Rishi Sunak is – through the wealth of his wife and her family – honestly have any understanding of the struggles normal people are suffering as a result of his many decisions to cut their income?
That is the concern that we face after the revelation that the Tory Chancellor did not declare wealth larger than that of the Queen in the register of ministerial interests.
It won’t be addressed by Lord Evans, chair of the committee on standards in public life, because there is no rule requiring him to.
So the referral to the ethics watchdog by Labour’s Tonia Antoniazzi and James Murray may be seen as a pointless waste of time.
Here are the facts, neatly summed up in a couple of tweets:
Rishi Sunak failed to declare his wife's £430m stake in her father's firm Infosys on Parliament's Member's Register. This flagrantly breaks rules intended to avoid conflicts of interest – another one to chalk up to Tory Ministerial Code breach tally…https://t.co/Fra6qcEKxm pic.twitter.com/1Kf83tCW3S
— StrongerStabler (@StrongerStabler) November 28, 2020
Add in the very relevant fact that his wife is actually richer than the queen (he failed to disclose to parliament that much of his wealth comes from family and inherited wealth) and you might wish to reconsider the "ballsy" suggestion! https://t.co/ttflyJuj0W
— Tony O'Malley 🌹🤚🇵🇸 (@omalleylaw) November 28, 2020
According to the second of those stories, the Labour MPs’ referral to the ethics watchdog arises because they are concerned that Sunak’s wife’s holdings may create a potential conflict between his public and private interests.
But the Treasury has already said that Sunak “followed the ministerial code to the letter” in his declarations.
It seems he met the government’s then head of propriety and ethics, Helen MacNamara, to decide what needed to be declared before he joined the Treasury.
However: as This Writer learned only last week, a person can comply with the letter of the law and still be doing something wrong.
It doesn’t surprise me that Labour MPs are trying to tease out the nature of any wrong-doing by Sunak, because it was Labour that mistreated me.
Despite adhering to the letter of its rules on investigating anti-Semitism allegations against me, Labour ignored the requirements of its actual procedures in order to falsify a case against me, and manufactured an incorrect verdict. I had to go to court to have the facts revealed.
Will anything come of an investigation into Sunak? Doubtful. There’s no law against being ignorant of the way the other half live.
But if we know that Sunak is so far removed from the rest of us, we may also draw logical conclusions about his ability to create policies for everybody in the UK, no matter how deprived – or his lack of any such ability.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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