Tag Archives: child minder

Rishi Sunak investigated by standards commissioner over childcare conflict of interest

Partners in (the) climb: Akshata Murty and her husband, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak is facing investigation over whether he properly declared his wife’s interest in a childcare agency that may benefit from a new policy announced in the spring Budget.

Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty is listed as a shareholder in Koru Kids, a childcare agency that is likely to benefit from a pilot scheme offered by Jeremy Hunt to incentivise people to become childminders, with £1,200 offered to those who train to become one through an agency.

It is believed that he is being investigated over whether a declaration of interest in this organisation was “open and frank”, under rules set out by the commissioner for standards.

This Site has discussed the situation previously, here. It seems the authorities got around the question of Sunak having to grant permission to be investigated by the independent adviser on ministerial interests (Laurie Magnus) by handing it to the standards commissioner (Daniel Greenberg).

This Writer doubts the investigation will lead to any great censure of Sunak.

The initiative to encourage people to become childminders may very well benefit children and carers alike – because it is calculated to bring more people into the job market, which is what the Tories want.

Ms Murty is not the only business boss who will benefit from it, and indeed Koru Kids is not her only business interest, so it can hardly be argued that the policy was introduced purely as a money-spinner for the prime minister and his family.

Still, he did fail to declare his interest to the Commons Liaison committee when asked, and not only should he be made to apologise and correct the record, but he should also take steps to ensure that every other government minister knows they have an obligation to list their own interests correctly, at appropriate times.

But what will happen next? Keep watching this space…


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