Rishi Sunak: These are the consequences he could face if investigation finds he broke the rules

Rishi Sunak is currently being investigated over his millionaire wife’s interest in a childcare company that stands to benefit from the new government policy. The ‘embarrassing’ process can lead to him getting expelled.

Rishi Sunak under investigation: Can he be expelled from parliament if they find a breach?
© Photographer: Neil Hall/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rishi Sunak under investigation: Can he be expelled from parliament if they find a breach?

Rishi Sunak is one of the wealthiest British PMs in history, with the source of his great fortune being his wife Akshata Murty’s multi-million ownership in her father's tech company Infosys.

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Just earlier this month the couple pocketed another £6.7 million in dividends from the IT giant.

But Akshata Murty's extensive business interests have got Rishi Sunak in trouble more than once. Concerns were raised whether it was appropriate for Murty to keep her non-dom status allowing her to avoid paying taxes in the UK while her husband was running for PM.

Now it was revealed that Rishi Sunak is being investigated by the parliament's standards watchdog over whether he properly declared his Akshata Murty's shareholding in a childcare company which stands to benefit from the new government policy.

Rishi Sunak accused of lobbying his wife’s business interests

Parliament's Commissioner for Standards began the investigation over a ‘declaration of interest’ in regards to Rishi Sunak, according to a list of open inquiries on its website.

The process was prompted by media reports about Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy being a shareholder in a company set to benefit from support for the childcare sector announced in March's budget.

The investigation is not the first time Rishi Sunak’s extreme wealth stirs controversy, especially since millions of households in the UK struggle with the consequences of the cost of living crisis.

Just last week a schoolgirl asked the PM if he could solve Britain's financial struggles since he was ‘so rich’.

Read more:Rishi Sunak ridiculed online for bizarre tactic: 'No other UK PM ever seen doing this'

Rishi Sunak is cooperating with the investigation

Rishi Sunak's spokesperson confirmed that the investigation was linked to the childcare firm and said they were ‘happy to assist the commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a ministerial interest’.

But the process still puts the PM in a bad light while the opposition Labour Party is calling for him to publish an updated register of ministerial interests before municipal elections next month.

Labour's Angela Rayner said the failure to do so had left 'a transparency black hole' which is 'enabling the prime minister and those he has appointed to dodge proper scrutiny of their affairs’.

Under the code of conduct, MPs have to provide information about financial interests which might reasonably be thought to influence their work in parliament.

What consequences can Rishi Sunak face?

According to Reuters, if the investigation finds a breach from Rishi Sunak’s side, the Commissioner can require him to apologise and set out steps to avoid any future errors, or refer him to a Committee which has the power to suspend or expel him from parliament.

On the flip side, The Guardian reported that should they find a breach, the consequences would be minor for Rishi Sunak. They write:

Any sanction is likely to be minor and parliamentary sources suggested that should he admit a breach he would probably only be ordered to make a correction.

However, there is no doubt that if there is a breach, it will affect the PM's credibility as he has always promised 'integrity and accountability' when it comes to his administration.

Read more:

Rishi Sunak: Schoolgirl asks how he can help struggling families given he is ‘rich’, this was his reply

Rishi Sunak's million dollar fortune comes from his wife: How rich is UK's Prime Minister?

Sources used:

Reuters: 'Rishi Sunak investigated over wife's interest in UK childcare firm'

The Guardian:

Rishi Sunak facing backlash after being caught breaking the rules yet again Rishi Sunak facing backlash after being caught breaking the rules yet again