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Business News/ News / World/  Rishi Sunak speaks on ‘messy’ wife Akshata Murty

Rishi Sunak speaks on ‘messy’ wife Akshata Murty

Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty wed in Bangalore in 2006.

Rishi Sunak (R) pose with his wife Akshata Murthy (L) on February 9, 2022 in London.  (AFP)Premium
Rishi Sunak (R) pose with his wife Akshata Murthy (L) on February 9, 2022 in London.  (AFP)

Rishi Sunak, one of the most probable candidates for prime minister of the United Kingdom, has said that - when he first met Akshata Murty at a US institution - there was "clearly something". Akshata is the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.

The couple wed in Bangalore, India, in 2006 after meeting when he was pursuing an MBA at Stanford University. The wedding took place over two days. Sunak, who was born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent, acknowledges rearranging his Stanford class schedule "to be in a particular class" in order to sit next to Murty.

Also Read: Has Liz Truss's one wrong move got Rishi Sunak closer to UK PM chair?

The former Chancellor discussed his family life in an interview with "The Sunday Times," reflecting that one of the keys to his marriage is that the two are extremely different people.

“I’m incredibly tidy, she’s very messy. I’m much more organised, she is more spontaneous," Sunak said.

Also Read: Sunak in hot waters over boast he moved funding from deprived areas

“She is not going to love me for saying this, but I’ll be honest with you, she is not big on the whole tidying thing. She is a total nightmare, clothes everywhere... and shoes... oh God shoes," he said. “I didn’t really need to take it but I did it anyway so we could sit next to each other."

Sunak attended both births of the couple's kids, Krishna, 11, and Anoushka, 9, and he adored assisting with childcare.

Also Read: Liz Truss leads with 90% chance in race for next UK PM

He recalls: “I was very lucky because when they were born, I ran my own business with others but I was completely in control of my time and so I was very much around. I always say my parenting sweet spot is zero to three and I was really lucky that when they were that age I had the time to just be there a lot and do a lot. I loved every second of it. Every time I’m on the campaign trail and I see a little baby or something, my arm goes out."

After a controversy over Murty's legal non-domicile tax status, which she later gave up to pay taxes on her income from Infosys shares also in the UK, Sunak's family moved out of the apartment above No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in April to avoid the matter becoming a "distraction" for her husband.

Also Read: British PM candidate Rishi Sunak vows 20% cut to UK income tax within 7 years

The family would return to Downing Street if the former finance minister were to win the election on September 5 to lead the Conservative Party and become the next Prime Minister to succeed Boris Johnson.

“The decision had nothing to do with what had happened. It was everything to do with the fact that our eldest daughter was in her last term of primary school and was meant to be able to walk to school by herself every day," he said.

Regarding assertions made on the campaign trail that the couple is too wealthy to comprehend the worries of many citizens in an effort to win over Conservative Party members' support in the leadership battle to unseat Foreign Secretary Liz Truss,

Sunak is emphatic: “I do think in this country we judge people by their character and their actions, not by what’s in their bank account. I am fortunate today but I didn’t grow up like this. I worked really hard for what I’ve got, my family worked hard and that’s why I want to do this job."

The goal, according to him, is to "love bomb" the Tory membership, like he did when he was chosen to fight for Richmond in North Yorkshire as the party's member of parliament in 2015. He is equally unfazed by polls that show his challenger, Liz Truss, with a commanding lead in the race for Downing Street.

“I am probably the underdog in this thing... but it does not feel like the polls when I’m out and about. I’m out all the time, I’m talking to people, it feels different on the ground... clearly, I’ve got work to do but I’m up for that and I’m throwing everything I’ve got at it," he told 'The Sunday Times'.

Regarding one of the campaign's focal points, the cost of living crisis brought on by skyrocketing inflation, Sunak acknowledged that voters are concerned about the economy's prospects in the wake of Bank of England recession predictions and are calling for "positive realism" to mitigate the risk of a downturn.

“I’ve got what it takes to help get the country through a challenging period and make sure we emerge stronger and together on the other side. I’ve done that already and I can do that again and people can trust me to do that," he declared.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 07 Aug 2022, 05:29 PM IST
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