Prime minister Rishi Sunak is under investigation by the Parliamentary standards watchdog over the possible failure to declare an interest.
The House of Commons Standards Commissioner looks at evidence to determine whether individual MPs may have broken the rules of conduct.
An investigation was opened into Sunak, who is also MP for Richmond in Yorkshire, by commissioner Daniel Greenberg on Thursday, April 13, an update to the parliamentary website shows.
The investigation is in relation to paragraph six of the code, which states: “Members must always be open and frank in declaring any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its Committees, and in any communications with ministers, members, public officials or public office holders.”
A Downing Street source told the PA news agency the investigation relates to the shares his wife Akshata Murty holds in a childcare agency that will be boosted by the spring budget.
Sunak has faced questions over not mentioning his wife’s links to the firm, Koru Kids, when questioned by MPs on his childcare policies during an appearance at the liaison committee last month.
The PM has reportedly written to the chairman of the liaison committee, Sir Bernard Jenkins, in light of the “media coverage” and said: “This interest has rightly been declared to the Cabinet Office.”
A No 10 spokeswoman responded: “We are happy to assist the commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a ministerial interest.”
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “This government’s failure to update the rules or publish a register of ministers’ interests in nearly a year has left a transparency black hole which is enabling the prime minister and those he has appointed to dodge proper scrutiny of their affairs.
“If Rishi Sunak has got nothing to hide, he should commit to publishing the register before May’s elections so the public can see for themselves.”
And Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain commented: “Another day and another accusation of a Conservative prime minister bending the rules.
“After months of Conservative sleaze and scandal, the public just want a government which is focused on the country, rather than saving their own skin.”
More to follow.