The Indian tech company, in which Rishi Sunak’s wife owns shares worth hundreds of millions of pounds, is closing its office in Russia, according to Sky News.
Chancellor Akshata Murthy’s wife has a 0.91% stake in Infosysa company founded by her father that has continued to operate in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.
Her stake in the Indian technology consultancy giant is valued at more than £400m, according to the latest annual report.
Ms. Murthy’s father, Narayana Murthy, co-founded Infosys in 1981 and helped grow it into a multinational company that currently employs more than 250,000 people in offices around the world including Russia, India, the US, China, the Middle East and Europe.
Mr. Murthy, 75, was named among Fortune magazine’s “12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time” in 2012 – alongside Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg – before stepping down from the board to become chairman emeritus.
Mr. Sunak has confronted several questions about links from Infosys to Russia after urging firms to sever ties with the country following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. He has refused to answer them, saying it had nothing to do with him.
Labor leaders on Friday morning Sir Keir Starmer urged Mr Sunak to ‘get clean’ on his wife’s involvement in Infosys and said he agreed that the family “should not be brought into political arguments” but that it was a “fundamental matter of policy” to find out if his household would benefit from Infosys investments in Russia.
Earlier this week, Mr Sunak declined to answer questions about the company’s ties to Russia, including to the country’s largest private bank, Alfa Bank, which was sanctioned by the UK last week.
Asked if he would offer advice to others that his own family doesn’t follow, Mr Sunak told Sky News: “I’m an elected politician and I’m here to speak to you about what I’m responsible for. It’s not my wife.”
After suggesting that his family could benefit from Vladimir Putin’s regime, the Chancellor said: “I really don’t think that’s the case.
“The operations of all companies depend on them. We have imposed significant sanctions and all companies for which we are responsible are complying, as they rightly should, and sending a very strong message of Putin’s aggression.”
He added, “I have nothing to do with this company.”
In response to Infosys’ withdrawal from Russia, Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “Whether this is a belated acknowledgment of his hypocrisy or some other exercise in brand management, it shows that the Chancellor will act to protect his own reputation , but still on his hands when it comes to supporting the British public.
“Millions of people are waking up today to unprecedented energy bills amid the Conservatives’ cost-of-living crisis, but the Chancellor is too busy putting her own affairs in order.”
Infosys told Sky News last week that it has a “small team of employees based in Russia who serve some of our global clients locally.”
“We have no active business relationships with local Russian companies,” it added in the statement.
“A key priority for Infosys in trying times is to continue expanding support to the community. The company has committed $1 million to provide relief efforts to Ukraine’s victims of the war.”
The news that the company is pulling out of Russia came a day after Mr Sunak told the BBC he had found the criticism of his wife “very upsetting” and that he understood how movie star Will Smith felt when his wife died was mocked by comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars about her alopecia condition.
“At least I didn’t get up and hit someone, which is good,” he joked.
War in Ukraine: Indian tech company Infosys, in which Rishi Sunak’s wife owns shares, will close its office in Russia | News from politics
Source link War in Ukraine: Indian tech company Infosys, in which Rishi Sunak’s wife owns shares, will close its office in Russia | News from politics