Spotlight on Rishi Sunak’s family as they prepare to enter No 10

His wife, Akshata Murty, is the daughter of a billionaire; their garden parties are one of the hottest tickets in their home town

The spotlight is on the family preparing to move into No 10 as Rishi Sunak is poised to take up residence along with his wealthy wife and their two daughters.

Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980 to Indian parents who had moved to the UK from east Africa. His father was a GP and his mother ran her own pharmacy. The eldest of three children, Sunak was educated at a private boarding school, Winchester College, and went on to study politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Oxford, where he was awarded a first-class degree.

He later gained a master’s of business administration (MBA) at Stanford University, where he met Akshata Murty, his future wife.

Murty, 42, is the daughter of the Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy, often described as the Bill Gates of India, who founded the software company Infosys. According to reports, his daughter has a 0.91% stake in the company, worth about £700m.

She studied economics and French at the private Claremont McKenna College in California, then earned a diploma at a fashion college before working at Deloitte and Unilever and studying for an MBA at Stanford.

The couple married in her home town of Bengaluru in a two-day ceremony in 2009 attended by 1,000 guests. Their two children, Krishna and Anoushka, appeared with Sunak on the campaign trail in the leadership contest against Liz Truss during the summer.

Murty runs her own fashion label, Akshata Designs, and is also the director of a venture capital firm founded by her father in 2010. She is listed on LinkedIn as director of the capital and private equity firm Catamaran Ventures, the gym chain Digme Fitness and the gentlemen’s outfitters New & Lingwood.

In April it was revealed that Murty was a non-domiciled UK resident, meaning she avoided UK taxes on her international earnings in return for paying an annual charge of £30,000.

Without that non-dom status she could have been liable for more than £20m of UK taxes on these windfalls, it was reported. After a public outcry, her spokesperson announced she would start paying UK taxes on her overseas earnings to relieve political pressure on her husband.

Sunak himself admitted holding a US green card until October 2021, meaning he had declared himself a “permanent US resident” for tax purposes for 19 months while he was chancellor and for six years as an MP.

From 2001 to 2004 Sunak was an analyst for the investment bank Goldman Sachs, and later he was a partner in two hedge funds.

He was elected as the MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire in May 2015. It is one of the country’s safest seats, having been Tory since 1906.

The couple’s garden parties are one of the hottest tickets in town. They have been known to splash out on feasts of roast venison, canapés and champagne, but most get-togethers are less extravagant. He was re-elected in 2019 with a majority of 27,210.

Between 2018 and 2019 he served as parliamentary undersecretary of state for local government, before entering cabinet in 2019 as chief secretary to the Treasury. In February 2020 he became one of the youngest chancellors in history, and he presided over the budget throughout the pandemic.

As an MP and chancellor, Sunak’s government salary was £151,649.

The Sunaks are understood to own four properties, according to reports. These include a Grade II-listed manor house in the village of Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton, in his Richmond constituency, which was bought for £1.5m in 2015; and a five-bedroom townhouse in South Kensington, London, which records show was last sold for £4.5m in 2010. The couple also own a flat in South Kensington and a penthouse apartment with views of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California.

The couple made the Sunday Times rich list for the first time in May 2022 with a combined fortune of £730m – making Sunak the first politician to appear on the list since it began in 1989.

• This article was amended on 25 October 2022 to remove the suggestion that a green card was linked to US citizenship, and to add detail about Sunak’s former green card status.


Caroline Davies

The GuardianTramp

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