Rishi Sunak has written to the Prime Minister asking him to refer his ministerial declarations to the Independent Advisor on Ministers’ Interests.
In a tweet on Sunday evening, he said: “I have always followed the rules and I hope such a review will provide further clarity”.
In the letter itself, Sunak wrote: “My overriding concern is that the public retain confidence in the answers they are given and I believe the best way of achieving this is to ensure those answers are entirely independent.”
The move comes as the Chancellor faces increasing scrutiny over his wife’s Akshata Murthy tax payments in light of her Indian citizenship and non-dom status.
Non-doms, such as Indian-born Murthy, must pay £30,000 a year if they are a resident for seven of the previous nine tax years, or £60,000 for 12 of the previous 14 tax years. After 15 out of 20 years in the UK, the tax applies to worldwide earnings.
Murthy has collected almost £55m in dividends from her father’s since living in the UK under non-dom status, The Guardian reported, which could have saved her as much as £20m in taxes.
Despite public backlash, The Tory heavyweight has consistently defended his wife since the revelations emerged.
Speaking to the Sun, Sunak said “every single penny” she earns in Britain is taxed, and money gained internationally, is taxed in the country it is earned in, such as India.
He said it would not be “reasonable” for her to give up Indian citizenship and live fully as a UK citizen “because she happens to be married to me”, adding that she is “not her husband’s possession.”
Murthy, who owns a 0.9 per cent stake in her billionaire father’s firm Infosys, is “100 per cent doing everything this country asks of her” in terms of paying tax, he said.
Her arrangement has been criticised by Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, who accused Sunak of “breathtaking hypocrisy” by raising taxes while she reportedly didn’t pay her fair share.
The Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests advices the Prime Minister to on matters relating to the Ministerial Code and is independent from the government.