UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a new conflict of interest row before the G20 summit in New Delhi next month over claims that his family could stand to benefit financially from a post-Brexit trade deal that he is negotiating with India, the media reported.
MPs and trade experts say there are concerns at the highest levels of government over potential "transparency" issues relating to his wife Akshata Murty's shareholding - worth almost 500 m pounds - in the massive Bengaluru-based international IT services and consultancy company Infosys, The Guardian reported.
Labour, and the chair of the all-party House of Commons business and trade select committee, called on Saturday night for Sunak to be more open about his wife's financial interests, given that Infosys could be a key beneficiary of any agreement. One leading expert said he should recuse himself from the trade negotiations altogether.
Darren Jones, the Labour chair of the business and trade select committee, said, "As the prime minister recently learned, it's important he declares any interests properly. I expect him to do so in respect of the India trade deal too."
The calls come as former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, a vocal critic of the prime minister, finally handed in her resignation as an MP, The Guardian reported.
Sunak will attend the G20 summit in New Delhi in two weeks and is expected to discuss the UK-India trade negotiations in a separate bilateral meeting with India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi.
Trade secretary Kemi Badenoch flew back from India this weekend after holding intensive talks on the prospective deal, The Guardian reported.
Infosys, which has had contracts with the British government as well as many UK companies, is known to want to improve access to this country for its many thousands of contract workers through changes to the UK visa regime.
Allowing more visas for its workers in sectors such as IT and artificial intelligence is a key Indian demand in the talks over a free-trade agreement. The UK, for its part, is seeking reductions in the high tariffs on exports to India of goods including Scotch whisky and cars, The Guardian reported.