Sunak’s link to firm operating in Russia raises ‘double-standards’ issues

Sunak: while he’s been in Parliament saying businesses should divest themselves of involvement in Russia, his wife has been accepting share dividends from one that has chosen not to.

Let’s see if we can get this straight: as part of the UK government, Rishi Sunak has supported sanctions against Russian business interests in the UK – but his family has £400m worth of shares in a firm operating in Russia.

And he’s perfectly happy to have that connection?

That’s a bit – no, a lot – hypocritical, isn’t it? Not to say greedy?

As a government, he’s saying he doesn’t want Russian businesses to take money from the UK, but as a person, he’s saying he wants to benefit from his wife’s business interest taking money from Russia.

Downing Street is right to say this is a “personal issue for the Chancellor”; the attitude chosen by the government is right (or would be, if these sanctions had set to bite immediately they were announced, rather than a month later) and this is a matter for his conscience – and that of his wife, who owns the shares.

Apparently a Sunak spokesperson has said all is well because neither his wife nor any members of her family “have any involvement in the operational decisions of the company”. But they’re still taking money, aren’t they?

The firm itself – Infosys – says its presence in Russia is to service global clients locally, has no active business interests with Russian enterprises, and supports peace between Russia and Ukraine.

But that doesn’t matter.

As Labour’s Louise Haigh put it, “The chancellor has explicitly called on business to divest from Russia in order to inflict economic pain and ensure that the sanctions are as deeply felt as possible.”

And now we find that he wants every business to do that – apart from his wife’s.

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1 thought on “Sunak’s link to firm operating in Russia raises ‘double-standards’ issues

  1. nivekd

    He made his millions not just by marrying into billions. His hedge fund helped to cause the 2008 crash by short-selling banks – and the rest of us have been made to pay for that for over a decade. He’s #FishiSunak

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