Rishi Sunak’s Wife Akshata Murty Says Intense Scrutiny Deters Careers in No. 10

Rishi Sunak’s Wife Akshata Murty Says Intense Scrutiny Deters Careers in No. 10
credit: thehindu

London (Parliament News) – Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, discusses the challenges of maintaining a career while facing intense scrutiny as the spouse of the UK Prime Minister, reflecting on their wealth and public attention.

Rishi Sunak’s Spouse Akshata Murty has explained the difficulties of continuing her career while being the PM’s wife, in a rare solo discussion as the next general election approaches.

How Does Wealth Impact Akshata Murty’s Career Challenges?

In a wide-ranging interview, the Indian heiress whose private wealth makes the occupants of No 10 Downing Street richer than King Charles, conveyed a “routine” life, days after Rishi Sunak suffered heavy defeats in local elections. “It’s hard to continue with your career when you are so scrutinised, and you’re expected to drop everything for a state opening,” Murty described to the Times. “Yet, if you become too involved in your spouse’s life, you are seen as meddling.”

Scrutiny is far from the unknown territory for the couple, who have a combined fortune of about £730m and have earlier been in the headlines over Murty’s non-domiciled tax status, which permitted her to save millions of pounds in tax on dividends collected from her family’s IT business empire, Infosys.

Last year, a Guardian analysis discovered that Sunak’s fund to support startups during the Covid pandemic, when he was chancellor, had funded almost £2m in companies linked to his wife. The PM was also seen to be in violation of the parliamentary code of conduct after failing to report his wife’s interest in a childcare agency that stood to benefit from government policy.

How Does Akshata Murty Balance Routine with Public Service?

“I am not a politician. I can’t always please everyone. My father told me the softest pillow is a clear conscience. Do your best and then don’t worry. So that’s my role. To keep the show going,” Murty said, as she welcomed schoolchildren into Downing Street for her Lessons at 10 endeavour, which takes place every Friday morning.

“I try very hard to keep life as routine as possible. I also look at this time in our lives as an opportunity to serve, and you serve in the best way you can. That is my mindset.”

The interview came after the government’s losses in local elections and as two of Sunak’s MPs crossed the floor to enter Labour in the past two weeks. With Keir Starmer’s party consistently ahead in the polls since the start of 2022 and with a general election looming, Sunak has stated he is “absolutely determined to fight”, despite many of his MPs being melancholy about the Conservatives’ chances of retaining power.

How Do Sunak and Murty Navigate Household Duties?

In a recent joint discussion with Grazia UK, the couple lamented one another’s bed-making and dishwasher-loading habits at home, where they increase their two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka. “I have more flexibility and so I’m able to control my schedule a bit more, whereas you don’t have flex or time,” said Murty.

How Did Akshata Murty Adapt to Life in London?

Murty, who was born in India, finished most of her early adulthood in Los Angeles. She went to the city’s private liberal Claremont McKenna College, where she learned economics and French, before studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She functioned for Deloitte and Unilever and then studied for an MBA at Stanford University, where she met Sunak, who had won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Within five years, they were wedded in a two-day ceremony in Bengaluru.

“I remember encountering Rishi at 24 and later I’d visit him here when we were dating and we’d come to Westminster as visitors. I still didn’t imagine living in London. Even when Rishi was a new MP, I never thought five years later we’d be here,” she said.

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the Il24.it circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.