Boris Johnson Has Approved An Investigation Into Rishi Sunak’s Tax Affairs
A spokesperson for Downing Street has confirmed that Boris Johnson has approved Rishi Sunak’s request that his tax affairs be investigated by the Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests.
The Chancellor wrote to the Prime Minister on Sunday asking for an investigation to be led by Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministers' interests, to establish whether all his financial interests were declared correctly.
In a letter shared on Twitter, Sunak said he had "always followed the rules" and that he hoped the review would "provide further clarity".
Johnson's spokesperson was unable to give a timescale on when Geidt's work would begin, but said "I can confirm that the Prime Minister has agreed to the request from the chancellor for Lord Geidt to undertake this work”.
They clarified that Johnson had asked Lord Geidt “to take this forward”, but could not confirm whether the full investigation had begun.
The spokesperson added that the parameters of the investigation would be “as set out in the Chancellor’s letter”, which referred to whether his financial interests were "properly declared".
The Chancellor has faced growing criticism in recent days following reports relating to his wife’s non-domicile status, and the fact he held a US green card while serving as a minister.
Akshata Murty, Sunak's wife, has since said she will now pay UK tax on her worldwide income.
In his letter to the PM, Sunak said: "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, without bias or favour.”
"To that end I would recommend that Lord Geidt makes all his conclusions public. I am confident that such a review of my declarations will find all relevant information was appropriately declared.”
Downing Street said all advice from Lord Geidt’s investigation will be published “in a timely manner”, and that he would set out any further details on the timeframe and scope of the probe.
Labour wrote to Geidt on Sunday asking for an investigation into the "series of troubling revelations regarding the tax status and business connections of the chancellor and his household".
Speaking on Monday, Labour leader Keir Starmer the public would see the issue as a matter of "real fairness".
"Most of the public will be really surprised to learn, as they have been learning over the last few days, that members of the cabinet, who are saying to the public there is no alternative than for you to pay more tax, are themselves making use of scheme to reduce their own taxation," he said.
"I think that is why people feel this is essentially a matter of real fairness."
Starmer said he would not allow anyone to serve in his cabinet if they held non-dom status, and that Labour would oversee an "absolutely fair system".
"I would expect all members of my cabinet to pay their full taxes in this country. It is a shame we can't say the same of the Prime Minister," he added.
Health secretary Sajid Javid has also shared that he had previously used non-domicile status in the past, but has since rescinded the status.
The PM’s deputy spokesperson was unable to confirm on Monday whether other Cabinet members had used non-domicile status or held citizenship of other countries whilst in office.
“Ministers are required to make the relevant transparency declarations. It wouldn't be for me as an individual to know someone's personal tax arrangements,” they said.
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