Why Infosys was given VIP access? UK Opposition attacks PM Rishi Sunak, says ‘…serious questions to answer’

The UK's Labour Party has accused Infosys of receiving VIP access in Britain due to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's familial connection with co-founder Narayana Murthy.

Agencies
Updated6 Feb 2024
Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, has a 0.91 per cent stake valued at around GBP 500 million in the IT business co-founded by her father
Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, has a 0.91 per cent stake valued at around GBP 500 million in the IT business co-founded by her father (via REUTERS)

The UK's Labour Party has alleged Infosys received "VIP access" and has been promised to get help to expand in Britain due to familial connection between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the cofounder of the India-based software services major. 

Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, has a 0.91 per cent stake valued at around GBP 500 million in the IT business co-founded by her father and received millions in dividends in the past financial year.

A 'Sunday Mirror' report, based on a freedom of information request, claims Trade Minister Lord Dominic Johnson discussed the UK operations of Infosys during a meeting at the company’s offices in Bengaluru. 

The report said, Lord Johnson “made clear that he was keen to see a bigger Infosys presence in the UK and would be happy to do what he could to facilitate that”.

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth told the newspaper, “After the Tories handed billions in taxpayers’ cash to cronies for duff PPE (personal protective equipment), the public will wonder why an outfit so personally close to Rishi Sunak appears to have been granted this VIP access. There are serious questions to answer.

Lord Johnson is said to have outlined to the Infosys executives, whose names were redacted in the FOI documents, the advantages for the multinational as a result of the UK’s high-potential individual visa scheme.

“The investment minister regularly meets businesses and international investors, including a range of Indian businesses, to champion the UK as an investment destination and secure commitments worth billions of pounds. That engagement drives investment across the UK, creating thousands of high-quality jobs and boosting the UK economy,” said a DBT spokesperson.

Infosys has been approached for a reaction over these latest claims, coming in the wake of some Opposition murmurings around Infosys seeking visa benefits to accrue from the proposed India-UK free trade agreement (FTA).

 

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