Rishi Sunak is facing questions after it emerged his wife is a shareholder in a childcare agency that will directly benefit from policies announced in the Budget. Akshata Murty, the fashion-designer daughter of a billionaire, was listed as a shareholder in Koru Kids as recently as 6 March 2023 and has been since March 2021, according to Companies House.
The private childcare agency is one of six being consulted on a pilot scheme as part of childcare reforms unveiled by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt earlier this month.
Under the reforms, the Government will pilot incentive payments of £600 for childminders entering the profession and £1,200 if they join through an agency.
Koru Kids and other agencies are expected to see a boost in business due to the pilot as it will encourage prospective childminders to sign up via agencies.
During a grilling by MPs on the Liaison Committee yesterday, Labour MP and chair Catherine McKinnell asked if the Prime Minister wanted to declare an interest about the policy.
Mr Sunak said: “No, all my disclosures are declared in the normal way.”
The PM did not state that his wife is a shareholder in Koru Kids.
His latest register of ministerial interests dating from May 2022 also does not declare that his wife owns shares in the company.
Asked whether Mr Sunak was concerned there might be a conflict of interest, a source close to him told the i newspaper: “As the PM said, all interests are declared in the usual way.”
The source added that it was up to the Prime Minister’s independent ethics adviser and the Cabinet Office’s Proprietary and Ethics Team to “decide if there are any conflicts of interests”.
MPs are expected to declare any relevant interests, including of family members, in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
No 10 and Koru Kids have been contacted for comment.
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